John Glen GOVUK

Government’s Rent Recognition Challenge winners announced

The proptech winners of the Government’s Rent Recognition Challenge have been announced.

Six companies will receive £100,000 funding for their products, which deal with rental data. In the next stage, three to four of the companies will receive additional funding to bring their ideas to market.

The six winners are:

  • Bud – a financial network allowing users to interact with all their finances in one place
  • Canopy – a deposit-free renting service
  • Credit Ladder – the UK’s first tenant rent reporting service for the private rental sector
  • FirstHomeCoach – free advice for new home owners
  • Movem – a digital passport for tenant referencing
  • RentalStep – a rental platform helping tenants boost their credit scores

The Rent Recognition Challenge was announced as part of the Autumn Budget 2017, where the Government pledged £2m to support proptech and fintech companies working with rental data. Applications closed on 9 March.

The winners were chosen by a panel of industry experts, comprising of Al Lukies, Motive Partners; Charlotte Crosswell CEO, Innovate Finance; Paul Smee Director of Mortgages, UK Finance; Eileen Burbidge HM Treasury FinTech envoy; Diederick Van Thiel CEO, AdviceRobo and Neil Munroe CEO, CRS Insights.

The winners will also become part of the Hogan Lovells FinTech Mentors Program, where they will receive up to 10 hours of free legal advice from the firm, access to online FinTech tools, meeting space and events plus supporting PR as program members. Each competitor will also receive expert PR mentoring from Prosek Partners, an award-winning, global financial services PR firm.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen announced the six funding winners during his speech to the Innovate Finance Global Summit.

He said: “Millions of families living in rented accommodation in Britain today are not getting access to credit. That is because, currently, a history of meeting your rent payments on time is not reflected in your credit score, and is not taken into account when you come to apply for a loan, such as a mortgage.

“The Treasury’s Challenge was designed to tackle this problem.”

Sheraz Dar, CEO of winner CreditLadder, said: “We are delighted that the judges recognised the work CreditLadder has made towards adding tenant rental payment to credit histories over the past 18 months, and we now have chance to really take this to the next level.

“CreditLadder has the technological expertise – and now the extra funding – to help HM Revenue achieve its goal of enabling more renters to take their first step on to the property ladder.”

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