Rent payment loyalty platform Bilt Rewards is now a $3.1 billion company.
Bilt’s new valuation follows a $200 million equity investment led by General Catalyst, as well as the addition of General Catalyst managing director Ken Chenault and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to its board, the company said Wednesday (Jan. 24) in a news release.
The company said it plans to use the new funding to “venture into” mortgage payment rewards, among other efforts.
“Rental and mortgage payments consume 30% of household income on average in the U.S.,” Chenault said in a news release. “Bilt is transforming this market by empowering and rewarding renters and homeowners for their monthly payments and everyday spend with local merchants.”
Launched two years ago, Bilt bills itself as the first platform letting U.S. customers earn rewards on their rent payments. The company’s Rewards Alliance, a collaboration with a number of high-profile residential real estate firms, now encompasses nearly 4 million households in the U.S., the company said.
In addition to mortgage payments, the company says the new capital will help expand its Rewards alliance and strengthen its Neighborhood Rewards program, which helps local merchants connect and build loyalty with residents in their communities.
Bilt’s new valuation comes as America’s renters are seeing their housing costs continue to rise, with rents up 6.5% since last year, according to recent Labor Department data.
Meanwhile, PYMNTS wrote last month that credit-building apps that leverage rental payments data, which had historically been excluded from credit scoring models, are surging in popularity.
One recent example of this trend is the debut of a credit reporting service by financial wellness platform Bloom Credit.
As noted here, “rental apps that are part of the initiative … will report rental payment data to the major credit bureaus, giving responsible tenants the opportunity to build credit as they make their rent payments.”
Underlining the importance of the service in an October news release, the company said “credit history plays a pivotal role in determining an individual’s access to affordable credit” in today’s financial landscape, but “unfortunately, a significant portion of consumers, especially those who rent their homes, have been left without a meaningful way to establish credit.”