Rent Butter, a next-generation tenant screening solution tailored specifically for workforce and affordable housing, has successfully concluded its seed financing round, securing $3 million in investments. The round was led by RET Ventures, an industry-backed venture fund specializing in single and multi-family real estate technology.
This investment came from the RET Ventures ESG Fund, known as the “Housing Impact Fund,” which focuses on technologies benefiting real estate operators while promoting social or environmental goals.
Founded in 2021 by Chris Rankin and Tom Raleigh, Rent Butter was created to empower owners and operators of workforce and affordable housing communities with improved risk assessment tools for screening potential residents. The workforce housing industry encompasses multifamily, single-family, and manufactured housing.
Traditionally, property owners assessing rental applicants have heavily relied on static data like credit scores and background checks, providing only a partial view of renters’ financial stability. Since its inception, Rent Butter has gained significant traction, with over 100,000 residential units using its solution. The company plans to expand its product range and customer base to include conventional Class A and B multifamily and single-family rentals in 2023.
Rent Butter’s digital platform allows applicants to move beyond static credit scores by sharing alternative data such as banking information, behavioral patterns, and other unique metrics. It then swiftly provides property owners with comprehensive financial and credit behavior reports, enabling them to make more accurate and equitable assessments of an individual’s ability to pay rent. The platform also validates critical documents like applicant IDs, employment records, and income in real-time to protect property owners against fraud.
Tom Raleigh, Co-Founder and CEO of Rent Butter, stated, “When founding Rent Butter, our main goal was to create an alternative to the antiquated tenant screening process and to empower property owners with a more dynamic, complete picture of an applicant’s financial status and history – reducing turnover and at the same time opening the door for potential renters who may have otherwise been turned away.”
Rent Butter not only serves as a valuable tool for property owners in reducing leasing risks but also assists applicants who may have previously been denied housing due to poor credit histories in building a financial track record. By allowing owners to assess risk based on alternative data like banking reports, credit behavior analyses, and authentic income-to-expense ratios, Rent Butter equips them to make more informed rental decisions. The platform also seamlessly integrates into property managers’ existing workflows, enhancing the overall leasing experience.
Aaron Ru, Principal at RET Ventures, commented, “Rent Butter’s approach to the tenant screening process aligns perfectly with the mission of our Housing Impact Fund, and its ability to improve both the owner and resident experience makes it an ideal investment for us.”
Chris Rankin, Co-Founder and CTO of Rent Butter, added, “As we continue our national expansion, I’m looking forward to arming even more multifamily owners with the insights needed to make the most informed assessments while giving prospective tenants credit for their overall financial behavior.” With the support of the RET Ventures team, Rent Butter aims to contribute to creating a more equitable future for the real estate industry.