RentalStep, a Liverpool-based rental platform helping tenants to boost their credit score, has been announced as one of six winners in the first round of the HM Treasury’s Rent Recognition Challenge. The firm, a client of Santander Business Banking and an early participant in Santander’s Liverpool-based business incubator programme, has won a £100,000 grant and the opportunity to bid for further funding from the remaining £1.4m prize pot.
The Treasury’s Rent Recognition Challenge offers funding to businesses who allow tenants to record and share their rental payment data with lenders and credit reference agencies, with the aim to promote rent payments as an indicator of a borrower’s creditworthiness.
RentalStep was founded in 2016 with the aim of making the renting process better for both tenants and landlords. The business joined Santander’s incubator at the start of 2017, where office space and day-to-day business support were provided to help give the company a strong foothold within the ‘proptech’ market. Santander Business Banking has also co-funded for an intern to join the business and provided additional mentoring from the bank’s innovation team.
Santander’s incubation hub in Liverpool has successfully supported early stage businesses like RentalStep since opening in July 2014. In addition to direct support for new businesses, the service has provided specialist workshops and business advice to a wider group of start-ups and established SMEs working in the Liverpool City region.
The next round of the Rent Recognition Challenge will take place in July with the opportunity for businesses to bid for further funding from the remaining £1.4m prize pot in additional funding for their projects.
Mike Georgeson, RentalStep CEO, said: “We are so proud to be a winner in this round of the Rent Recognition Challenge. The past two years have been an incredible journey for me and the wider team, and the support from Santander and the incubator in Liverpool has been invaluable. Our service is already helping tenants boost their credit score by securing a record of their rental payments and this award is a testament to our business model and aspiration for continued growth.”
Lynne Robertson, Breakthrough Incubator Manager - Santander Business, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that RentalStep has been recognised at such a high level. The firm has built a successful, innovative technology led service and would be a very worthy winner of the next round. It is also a great testament to our Liverpool incubator and we hope that more businesses originating from our incubator service can go on to secure great awards like this one.”
Firms interested in the incubator service should contact one of the Breakthrough team on Breakthrough@santander.co.uk.
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