“Like TurboTax”: Nestio launches online leasing

“Funnel by Nestio” instantly gives landlords access to renter’s financial info
By E.B. Solomont | August 01, 2019 08:30AM

Nestio's Caren Maio (Credit: Emily Assiran)

Nestio’s Caren Maio (Credit: Emily Assiran)

The idea of renting an apartment with the click of a button just got a little more real.

Residential listings startup Nestio — which provides real-time inventory management to big landlords — is rolling out an online leasing platform for renters, the company announced Wednesday.

Dubbed “Funnel by Nestio,” the mobile-first tool automates the application for prospective renters by giving them a link that they can use to plug in their bank information — and instantly give landlords access to pay stubs, tax forms and employer information that’s typically required to rent an apartment. The patent-pending software can shave hours (or days) off a laborious rental application process, said Nestio co-founder and CEO Caren Maio.

“It’s a fintech-powered way of transacting in a way that folks haven’t had before from a tech provider,” she said. “It’s like TurboTax or Rocket Mortgage for leasing.”

According to Maio, Nestio is currently rolling out a beta version of Funnel to select customers, and it plans to fully launch the online leasing platform in 2020. Right now, renters won’t use Funnel to make payments. “Not yet,” said Maio. “As we launch this and get the beta going, we’ll do more integrations.”

Founded in 2011, the New York-based startup began as a way to help landlords manage their apartments (instead of relying on spreadsheets and paper). In November, it added real-time marketing and leasing tools to its offerings. Nestio 2.0 — as the system was nicknamed internally — gave landlords a single dashboard to toggle between inventory management, marketing and leasing. It used artificial intelligence to automate responses to potential renters, and gave renters the ability to book tours online.

Nestio said it has around 300 landlord customers, which in New York include Rudin Management, the Durst Organization, Lightstone Group and Moinian Group. During the first 90 days after launching Nestio 2.0 in November, the company signed on clients who collectively own 30,000 rental units in New York. This fall, it hired a new chief revenue officer, Tyler Christiansen, to spearhead a national expansion. Nestio now has clients in Texas, Florida, California and Illinois, Maio said.

To date, Nestio has raised $16.4 million, including a $4.5 million “strategic” round last year whose investors included Rudin Ventures and the Moinian’s venture arm Currency M.