Canopy expands product portfolio to help renters achieve financial wellness

Written by
Pete Howroyd
Co-founder & CMO
May 6, 2020

Canopy, the London-based insurtech start-up that provides tenants with ‘Rent Passports’ to track their rental history and build their credit scores, today announces the launch of Canopy 2.0- a digital platform enabling greater transparency & efficiency across the entire rental value chain.

The update sees the enhancement and improvement of core products and makes Canopy the only insurtech company in the market to offer end-to-end rental experience combining digital referencing,deposit free capabilities and rent tracking all under one roof.

With 1 in 3 millennials billed to never buy a home, Canopy is designed to improve the ‘rental health’ of customers and the updated 2.0 platform will make the lives of both tenants and estate (letting) agents easier with an improved and seamless experience when letting anew property. The core features:

●       Digital Referencing

Canopy uses new technology via Open banking to automatically verify income and past rental payments using the users transactional history for verification, renters can then share it with different letting agents & landlords, should they want to. Installed with bank-level security, Open Banking uses rigorously tested software and security systems to ensure maximum protection. It’s designed to make things simpler, faster and more convenient whilst improving tenants’ rental health with a hassle and stress-free experience, allowing them to benefit from instant lettings,friction less reference checking and a new approach to deposits to build a positive credit score

●       DepositFreeTM

Renters will be given the choice to move into properties without paying an initial security deposit, which is typically equivalent to five weeks rent. Instead, renters can choose Canopy’s DepositFree insurance product,backed by HDI offering 8 weeks protection instead. DepositFree insurance provides landlords and renters with the same protection as a traditional cash deposit. It’s a one-off policy premium paid by the renter which covers both parties for up to three years. Deposit insurance, as an alternative to cash deposits, reduces move-in costs to drive a broader pool of Tenants, eliminates administrative responsibilities associated with handling cash deposits and can reduce void periods for landlords.

Canopy’s is currently the only deposit free provider in Europe to offer landlords 8 weeks of deposit protection whilst also protecting tenants for life events such as losing their job for reasons beyond their control or a sudden reduction in salary by at least 25%. In these scenarios, Canopy settles the claim with the Landlord and does not seek recovery from the Tenant

●       RentTrackingTM

This feature allows renters to build credit for paying rent on-time,improves creditworthiness and boosts financial inclusion. Canopy Rent Tracking is free to use and is the best way to build credit history without taking on new credit.

Tahir Farooqui, Canopy’s founder, commented: “We’re very excited to announce the next generation of the Canopy Rental Ecosystem which aims to connect the disparate strands of rental housing journey into a seamless process. We are putting our heart and soul towards building products and services which align incentives across the rental value chain.

“Being true to our commitment of promoting greater tenant financial health, Canopy’s DepositFree is the only product in the market, which in addition to protecting Landlords for up to 8 weeks of deposit cover, also protects the tenants, if the tenant has experienced a life event.

“No one else in the market can claim to do this and we’re pleased to be offering products to the rental market which have a positive social impact.

“The capital we are raising will allow us to fulfil our vision of making renting work for everyone, initially addressing one of the core issues of the housing crisis – affordability.  Canopy 2.0 takes it one step further for us by expanding our portfolio even more and takes us closer to our purpose of building an ecosystem of financial wellness for renters.

“Across the UK each year, renters pay over £54 billion in rent plus council tax, but until now that had barely factored in to any credit scores. What’s more, at any given time, about £4.5bn of UK renters’ money is locked away in cash deposits, which is structurally inefficient. It’s a no-brainer for us to make a change to the industry and a privilege to build a rental platform aimed at having a positive social impact on the lives of millions of renters.

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