Our next step: Cozy Series B funding
I’m happy to announce that we’ve closed our Series B round. It’s the next step in our mission to bring peace of mind to renters, property managers, and landlords everywhere. This capital will be used to expand the scope of our offerings, and to build out key new areas of the company. We also see profitability on the horizon, and our expectation is this capital infusion will allow us to be aggressive with growth while still achieving the goal of long-term sustainability.
The $8.45 million round was led by American Family Ventures, and 100% of our Series A investors participated, including Social Capital and General Catalyst. We’re excited to have AmFam join Team Cozy. They’ve been a real pleasure to work with, and they will be a significant ally as we continue building and adding services.
What’s happened since our Series A?
Before Cozy launched in June 2013, there simply wasn’t a service to help independent landlords or small property managers run their rental businesses. We’ve created that market, despite spending very little money on marketing or customer acquisition. The need was there, and we capitalized on it. It took time, patience, a ton of strategic groundwork, and dogged resilience to get to this point. Now that the market is there and growing, we’re seeing new ways to unlock value that we could only imagine a few years ago. We know we’ve just started scratching the surface.
We hit a key inflection point in January 2015 and grew over 900% last year. We’ve already tripled our business in 2016, and we can see profitability on the horizon; we’ll hit that milestone in a matter of months. Here are a couple of graphs showing how things have been going.
To date, 250,000 landlords, property managers, and renters have signed up for Cozy, and there are now more than 100,000 Cozy-managed properties in 11,500 ZIP codes. We’re used everywhere; if the Cozy community were a Single Family REIT, we’d be the largest REIT in the country, two times over, in terms of properties managed. (Invitation Homes is the largest REIT, with around 50,000 homes.) You all are awesome.
So what comes next?
We’re focusing on our customers, just like always.
We have a clear roadmap, and we’re opportunistic. We listen to our customers, and we react accordingly to what makes sense for the long term. For example, we’ve seen a natural expansion of our landlord/manager market. New customers are bringing larger numbers of units to the service. As such, we’re working with those larger customers with hundreds of units to introduce features that will continue to make their lives easier, and allow them to grow their businesses with Cozy.
Likewise, this fall we’ll introduce two new products designed and built specifically for renters. If you’re a renter, you’ll soon be able to take Cozy with you no matter where you live, even if your landlord or manager doesn’t use Cozy (we’ll help you get them on board!).
We’re building out new parts of the organization.
With less than 25 people, we’ve been running a lean operation and punching above our weight. While we’ll always be svelte, it is time for us to build out a few new strategic areas of the company, and grow our existing teams. We’re hiring across the company with new roles in Product Management, Data Science, Design, and Engineering.
I recently wrote about how to apply and land a job at Cozy. Take it to heart if you’d like to join us!
We’re more focused on diversity than ever before.
Cozy customers come from all walks of life. Our renter community is made up of students paying less than $200 a month in rent, as well as professional athletes paying over $10,000 a month (sometimes all up front for a year lease!). Since housing is universal, and the problems we’re solving affect everyone, we know that if our team reflects diverse perspectives and experiences, our product and company will be stronger. It just makes good business sense.
Good work, done well, for the right reasons.
Team Cozy has matured immeasurably in the past four years, and we know we’re poised to take the company to the next level. As a team and family, we value the trust around the table more than anything. That trust leads to honesty, and ultimately better decision making. Are we perfect? Not remotely. Is this a magic time in our journey? Absolutely.
I can’t wait to see where we go next.
Written by Gino Zahnd, CEO and founder of Cozy