Why we invested in Minut — Or, “Is it possible to monitor a home, without monitoring the people within it?”
We are stoked to announce our investment in Minut and to support their mission to create a problem free short-term rental market. Here is why we at Zenith chose to team up with the brilliant team at Minut in their $14m round.
The short-term rental market has during the past decade exploded with the help of Airbnb and others but in many ways the market also evolved to the wild west with non-professional hosts, guests arranging parties, neighbors getting disturbed, security issues and so on. This has led to cities saying no to short-term rentals and shutting out platforms like Airbnb. At the same time the interest for short- and mid-term rentals have risen to new all-time highs. Something that has been further fueled by the pandemic as more people now have the ability to work from anywhere.
We strongly believe in a continued growing short-term rental trend as travelling bounces back post pandemic, more people work from new locations as working set-ups get more flexible and the search for personal experiences, other than the one of a hotel, increases. According to data from AirDNA, the occupancy rates in the US short term rental market was up by 17.9% in Dec 2021 compared to pre-pandemic Dec 2019, despite average daily rates rising by 28.8% during the same period. This trend has continued into 2022.
But the problems in the short-term rental market need to be fixed to create a sustainable model that functions for all stakeholders as the market continues to grow and mature. We believe that the short-term rental market will- and needs to be further regulated to enable continued growth and that innovative technical solutions are key in creating a sustainable situation for landlords, neighbors, cities and guests.
To help solve this, Minut began with a simple question: Is it possible to monitor a home, without monitoring the people within it?
Minut can now answer YES to that question. With a smart sensor device and an intelligent software, Minut solves many of the above-mentioned problems. The Minut sensor detects disturbing noise, occupancy, measures indoor climate and more while keeping full privacy for the guest. All the input data is analyzed in real-time and no data is stored on the device, the underlying ML engine detects deviations and can tell the difference of e.g. an ongoing party and someone breaking a window. If disturbance in form of e.g. a loud party is detected Minut’s system sends a message to the guest telling them to turn down the noise, if this doesn’t fix the problem the host is contacted and if that doesn’t help a response team can be sent to make sure that disturbance problem is solved. Just the fact that a rental property has Minut installed takes down the number of disturbing incidents drastically and saving landlords massive costs by stopping parties in time before they get out of hand. In fact, the Minut system has shown a 94% solve rate in case of disturbance. The sensor can also detect when someone is in a property when it is not rented out via integrations to the properties booking system and hence replace a traditional home alarm. It is now becoming mandatory by law in several US states to have a sensor like Minut’s if you want to lease out your property.
I’ll try not to go on too long about the smart functionalities of Minut BUT the sensor can also help with check-ins, temperature measuring and mold control that enables the property manager to optimize both workflows, energy consumption and maintenance of the property. As 20% of the US energy-related greenhouse gas emissions stem from heating, cooling and powering households according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), monitoring and optimization of indoor climate can have a massive positive impact. Especially considering that most short-term rental properties are empty between rentals and have a great opportunity to lower heating during such time.
To conclude — Minut contributes to improved safety, convenience, compliance, monetary savings and a better environment (both for neighbors and the climate).
Both we, Minut’s customers and partners (including Airbnb and Kasa) deem Minut’s solution to be the clear market leader providing the most superior product in the market. In fact Minut is the only solution recommended by Airbnb in the category.
But getting Minut to this point took a lot and it’s all thanks to the amazing team led by CEO Nils who has a background as an electro engineer who spent many years at Apple and took part in developing the first iPhone. The team both have experience from big tech companies such as Apple and Google and previous scale-up journeys. They have now proven the product market fit with installs in 100+ countries, shown that they have the ability to scale the company, achieved very strong metrics and most importantly received raving reviews from satisfied Minut customers around the world.
We enter at a time when Minut has pivoted to a SaaS model and is ready to scale exponentially. All while contributing to a problem free short-term rental market.
We believe that the team at Minut has what it takes to go all the way and will do our best to contribute to the journey. We look forward to the ride. :)