Prop Tech

Insurer Direct Line invests in proptech start-up Canopy, aimed at reengineering the rental market

Gabrielle Pickard
Written by Gabrielle Pickard

Direct Line is the latest in a growing list of companies to put faith in the burgeoning proptech sector. The leading UK insurance firm has announced it is taking a 15% equity stake in Canopy, a proptech start-up looking to add fire to the property rental market by changing the way landlords, renters and Estate Agents collaborate and work together.

Direct Line’s £1.3 million contribution to the proptech start-up is part of the £1.6 million Canopy has managed to raise to expand its reach within the UK.

Launched in May this year, Canopy has developed a ‘simple one-off’ insurance policy designed to replace the requirement for tenants to make cash security deposits.

Part of the Canopy model is a RentPassport feature, known as a Trust Score, which provides landlords and agents with proof of a tenant’s credit and rental history. By enabling agents and landlords preapprove the suitability of tenants, Canopy says it saves significant amounts of time with the renter vetting process.

Based on a renter’s Trust Score rating, Canopy then provides access to suitable insurance products.

Adam Whiteley, Direct Line Group’s director of household development, spoke of the appeal of the Trust Score product.

“The current rental model asks renters to pay deposits of several weeks’ rent, and we believe Canopy’s use of mobile technology provides and innovative solution. By re-engineering the rental market, Canopy are seeking to enable Generation Rent to gain access to better financial products while demonstrating how technology can be a positive disruptor.”

Canopy’s CEO and founder, Tahir Farooqui, shared his enthusiasm of having the likes of Direct Line invest in the start-up.

“We have come a long way in a very short time – from an idea on a piece of paper to now having Direct Line group and Experian as strategic investors. As a business with global ambitions, this funding will go a long way to bringing new innovations to enhance peoples’ financial prosperity,” said Farooqui.


About the author

Gabrielle Pickard

Gabrielle Pickard

Gabrielle brings more than a decade’s writing and editing experience, having been creating and editing high quality content for a wide range of publications in the property sector, reporting about the latest trends, news and developments in this fast-paced industry that doesn’t stand still for a second.

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