Dubai: The UAE proptech Keyper – which manages properties for rental and pays landlords the full amount in advance – has won some serious backing in the seed funding. In all, it has raised $6.5 million and bringing in the leading VC firm MEVP, the tech focused investor Jabbar Group, as well as other strategic and angel investors.
Outside of fintechs and BNPL (buy now pay later) startups, property technology firms are getting handpicked by investors in the UAE and Gulf. Some early-stage companies offering crowdfunded property investments have also picked up VC and private equity support. Even when such investments have become relatively more difficult to access in the Gulf’s tech funding space.
Keyper manages more than 300 units in Dubai. It takes on properties that are then leased using its platform. One major standout of the platform is that landlords get the full rental contract value upfront, which Keyper then reclaims in instalments from the tenant.
“Our rent facilitation services, including upfront rent, are open to any real estate investor in Dubai,” said Omar Abu Innab, co-founder and CEO of Keyper. “We are not a listing site and leverage top listing sites like Property Finder and Bayut for performance.
This is where the new funds could help.
“Our property management pricing is fixed,” said Innab. “However, if the landlord avails our upfront rent services, the pricing is a percentage discount based on the number of payments from the tenant.
“Regarding the cost, we are able to operate at scale at a lower cost per managed property than the rest of the industry. We will continue developing technology to widen this advantage.”
Launch and portfolio building
Keyper launched in January 2022, at a time when the Dubai residential rental market was starting to see some heavy rental growth gains. That trend in the wider rental market has continued all through the next 22 months, with a majority of popular locations seeing rent increases of 20-25 per cent on average.
The proptech’s USP – of paying landlords upfront – helped it gain traction, with its numbers showing it has on-boarded more than 2,100 residential units and more than 800 landlords.