London ‘proptech’ startup Goodlord, which offers cloud-based software to help estate agents, landlords and tenants manage the rental process, has announced the appointment of serial entrepreneur and investor William Reeve as CEO. It follows a recent restructuring of the company that saw nearly 40 people laid off, and the stepping down of co-founder Richard White, news that TechCrunch broke last week.
Announcing Reeve as Goodlord’s new CEO, the startup issued the following statement:
As Goodlord continues its rapid growth, its founders Richard White and Tom Mundy agreed with the board that the time was right to bring in more experience to the Senior Management team. The firm has recently undergone a restructure, shifting focus from sales and marketing to the development of new features and automation of the platform. This next phase will see exciting new products aimed at supporting agency growth to be rolled out over the next course of the year.
When Goodlord confirmed the layoffs last week, it said that following a consultation period the startup had reduced the number of employees from 134 to 96 and that these were in sales and marketing. However, a tipster tells TechCrunch that it was wider than this and also included reductions in HR, operations, and mobile development. I also understand from sources that CTO Andrew Done departed in December.
Meanwhile, the appointment of Reeve could be viewed as somewhat of a coup for Goodlord and shows how seriously its backers, which includes Rocket Internet’s GFC, LocalGlobe and Ribbit Capital, are treating their investment and the turn-around/refocus of the company. A well-known figure in the U.K. startup scene as a serial entrepreneur and investor, along with exiting the movie rental and streaming company LoveFilm to Amazon, he co-founded Fletcher Research, and has held various board positions that include Secret Escapes, Hubbub, and Zoopla.
Goodlord says Reeve will “work closely” with founders Richard White (former CEO) and Tom Mundy (COO) to help the business. Commenting on the appointment, White said in a statement: “I’m immensely proud of what we’ve built at Goodlord over the last 4 years and to have recruited somebody with William’s experience is testament to the exciting vision we have for the business. I look forward to working with William to help Goodlord in the next phase of its growth”.
Founded in 2014, unlike other startups in the rental market space that want to essentially destroy traditional brick ‘n mortar letting agents with an online equivalent, Goodlord’s Software-as-a-Service is designed to support all stakeholders, including traditional high-street letting agents, as well as landlords and, of course, tenants.
The Goodlord SaaS enables letting agents to “digitize” the moving-in process, including utilizing e-signatures and collecting rental payments online. In addition, the company sells landlord insurance, and has been working on other related products, such as rental guarantees, and “tenant passports.”
The latter means that, if Goodlord reaches scale, it wants to let tenants easily take their rental transaction history and landlord references with them when moving from one rental property to another as proof that they are a trustworthy tenant.
To that end, four years in, Goodlord says it has grown its customer base to over 400 agencies across the U.K., and also appears to be quietly disclosing additional funding from existing backers. “To support the next stage of growth, Goodlord’s existing investors have increased their investment in the business,” adds the company in the announcement.