Startup City Magazine

Oliver, the New App for Rentals in the Concrete Jungle

Bangalore: In crowded cityplex, getting an apartment with or without broker is a nightmare. Intervention of brokers makes it even more difficult, as they cut the pocket for their commission. In the cities like New York, San Francisco or Chillicothe, difficulties are sky-high so as the rent. To eliminate the middle men like never before, a new app, Oliver has been presented to the iOS, which can directly connect users to the apartments. Through collecting information on rent inventories directly from the landlords, managers and real estates, it becomes a free marketplace without a soggy brokerage coming on the way.

The story of the app started over a dinner with the real estate developer Amir Shirki. The co-founder Yossi Shemesh realized that real estate inventory is high and could be amassed. The team of developers started with a prototype – a machine that aggregates all real estate inventories directly from landlord data sources. In August 2014, the first proof-of-concept (POC) was run that saw a dozens of viewing per day which transformed to actual rentals. Yossi went on to hire a bunch of interns to connect users with the landlords and built a slim web-based version. The fabulous response forced them to stop the POC and start with the seed round.

Oliver is only available on iOS for now and it is everything you could expect. This app lets you select an apartment and make an appointment with the landlord. . It may see a healthy future, if the app works as a credit check facility as well, since the landlords need to do credit checks for the tenants, thus reducing the utility of brokers further.

Oliver has already raised $1 million seed round from a group of New York real estate angels. The initial rounds of funding were done by the two co-founders Amiri and Yossi. While Yossi’s venture Mobli –a photo sharing app – made a buzz a few years back, launching the new app in Manhattan received 2000 renters who visited the site and served about 200 conversations a day. This app service is also rearing up to open its new wing in Brooklyn this week.

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