Rental Platform Apartment List Valued At $600 Million Following $50 Million Fundraise

Apartment for rent sign

The rental platform Apartment List has raised $50 million in a new funding round led by Janus Henderson Investors, doubling its valuation to over $600 million. Other backers include Allen & Co., Canaan Partners, Tenaya Capital and Quantum Partners LP, a fund managed by Soros Fund Management LLC.

“Our business is predicated on motion, and in 2020 we became profitable,” Founder and CEO John Kobs told Bloomberg, as reported on Monday (Dec. 21).

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic caused some people to move for a variety of reasons. “Mobility stood out this year as more users on our platform looked to change their living situation.”

Kobs told the news outlet that a public listing could happen in 2022 and any option would be considered — initial public offering, merger or special purpose acquisition company.

“Being public has always been a goal of mine, and there’s a lot of appetite from institutional investors to support a company like Apartment List,” Kobs said.

Founded in 2009, the Silicon Valley startup collects fees whenever a listed apartment is rented. This year, the company said it found new places to live for more than 175,000 people in Texas cities like Houston, Dallas, and Austin, as well as Denver, Minneapolis, Charlotte and more, he said.

“Apartment List’s unique value proposition — at the intersection of an industry we find attractive, a supportive macroeconomic backdrop and a huge market opportunity ahead — makes this a really unique and interesting investment for us,” Janus Henderson portfolio manager Denny Fish told Bloomberg.

The platform said it has more than 30 million registered users and over 5.5 million units. The new funds will go toward building out its sales effort and attract potential renters to its platform, Kobs said.

“Rentals is the last remaining classified category not yet won by a modern-day startup,” said Dana Stalder, a board member and partner at Matrix Partners, which has previously invested in the company. “Apartment List is well-positioned to lead the charge.”

The pandemic has been good for the real estate business overall, as millennial consumers start buying houses and affluent urbanites consider a second home in a rural area. In New York City, a mass exodus fueled by the pandemic saw a glut of leases become available.