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SA Prop-tech Startup HouseME Shutsdown Due COVID-19

South African prop-tech startup, HouseME has shut down after struggling to raise funds to combat the blow it received from the COVID-19 pandemic.

HouseME was a digital platform that connected prospective tenants to landlords, automating the letting process and ensuring fair and clear rental pricing, all for a fraction of conventional fees. It was founded in 2015 and began operations in 2016.

Having secured a funding round of US$3 million with a funding round in late-2019, and received some more capital in September of last year. According to CEO Ben Shaw, HouseME had over 150,000 users at the time, was well poised to leverage on the increased interest in online platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic

However, this does not seem to be the case, as HouseME’s activities have been suspended as it awaits the appointment of a liquidator. In the meantime, Besters Attorneys has been hired to oversee the process.

Whilst in a session with Disrupt Africa, Shaw said that start shut down due to an “unsuccessful funding round,” he also mentioned that the COVID-19 had an impact on some of their prospects.

“Happily, although operations have ceased, all leases are being managed by an agency who acquired the lease book,” he said.

Shaw quit his position in January and joined reOS, a Cape Town-based prop-tech startup, as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) in February. reOS, which has created a management platform for rental professionals, began operations in October of last year with heavyweight local angels Bill Paladino and Mark Forrester on board.

Unfortunately, this adds HouseME to the list of South African business such as Edcon, Comair, Associated Media and others that could not service the COVID-19 pandemic.

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