Launches Free Banking and Payments Platform to Help Independent Landlords Save Time and Grow their Rental Portfolios
REDWOOD CITY, CA – August 5, 2020 – Zibo, which provides modern, simple and secure financial services for independent landlords, today announced a $10.5M seed round led by Canaan Partners, with participation by QED Investors, Khosla Ventures and SVB Capital. The company also launched the first and only banking and payments platform designed for the unique needs of rental property owners.
Independent landlords today often manage their businesses using spreadsheets and other consumer tools because of a lack of more sophisticated financial offerings tailored to rental businesses. And as the current health crisis takes its toll on the economy, many of these landlords are wondering how they’ll navigate their uncertain future.
At the same time, tenants are tired of paying rent by check and want modern solutions. A 2017 survey of more than 100,000 renters by the National Multifamily Housing Council revealed that while less than 20% of U.S. tenants currently pay rent via digital methods, 85% would prefer to do so if their landlords offered the option.
Enter Zibo. Zibo helps landlords save time, improve cash flow and grow their portfolios with a suite of financial tools, including FDIC-insured business checking accounts, automated rent collection, online bill pay, and expense management to simplify tax prep. With Zibo, landlords can now organize all of their rental bank accounts and expenses in a single, secure platform—for free.
Zibo has partnered with Radius Bank, a nationally chartered member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and an Equal Housing Lender, to offer Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS). Zibo’s business checking accounts include:
- No monthly or hidden fees
- No minimum balance or deposit
- 3.75X the national average interest rate*
- FDIC insurance**
- ZiboPay for online rent collection, bill payments and expense management
ZiboPay enables landlords to collect rent online, providing tenants with flexible, secure payment methods including credit card, debit card and bank transfer.
Zibo is led by CEO and Co-Founder Chris Hsu, who previously served as COO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Zibo Chairman & Co-Founder Gregor Watson (who is also Co-Founder and Chairman of Roofstock) and Co-Founder Rob Bloemker previously managed one of the largest single-family rental home portfolios, and also co-founded Dwell Finance, which was sold to Blackstone in 2015. The three Zibo founders have decades of experience across the real estate, financial services, and technology industries, and saw an opportunity to address the pain points they’ve experienced as landlords themselves.
Early in Hsu’s business career, after he served as a captain in the Army, he invested in rental properties as a way to generate income and support his family. But over the last two decades, he became frustrated by the lack of modern tools in traditional banking.
“I know firsthand that being a landlord is not easy, especially when, like many landlords, you’re balancing it with a full-time job,” said Hsu. “Zibo is bridging the gap in financial services today to empower landlords with a modern, transparent way of doing business, while enabling renters to pay the way they want.”
Rich Boyle, General Partner at Canaan Partners, has 25 years of experience in real estate tech, including more than a decade as Chairman and CEO of LoopNet, the leading online marketplace for the commercial real estate industry.
“Zibo couldn’t have come at a more crucial time as landlords today face unprecedented economic challenges,” said Boyle. “Their simple, streamlined technology platform enables rental property owners to better manage their finances and automate processes that should have been automated a long time ago. We look forward to helping Zibo grow into an iconic PropTech business.”
Frank Rotman, Founding Partner at QED Investors, was one of the earliest analysts hired into Capital One and spent almost 13 years building many of the company’s business units and operational areas. He’s an experienced FinTech investor whose portfolio includes Credit Karma, Prosper, and SoFi, among others.
“Zibo represents the future of banking by delivering a curated set of modern, digital banking products to a single customer segment instead of trying to be all things to all people,” said Rotman. “I’m impressed by the team’s experience across real estate, finance and tech and am thrilled to partner with Zibo to help landlords across the U.S. with their holistic banking needs.”
In addition to these top-tier PropTech and FinTech investors, Zibo has access to world-class advisors including Tim Mayopoulos, President of Blend and former President and CEO of Fannie Mae.
Zibo provides the industry’s first and only banking and payments platform designed for the unique needs of rental property owners. Through the company’s modern, simple and secure platform, Zibo is bridging that gap to enable renters to securely pay the way they want, while empowering landlords to transition to a modern way of doing business. Zibo’s investors include Canaan Partners, QED Investors, Khosla Ventures and SVB Capital.
About Radius Bank
With assets of approximately $1.6 billion, Radius Bank is a forward-thinking digital bank committed to providing a full complement of accounts and services to meet the banking needs of consumers and businesses nationwide. Radius provides the product depth of a national brand, the technology of a fintech, and the personalized attention typically reserved for a local bank to consumers, small and middle market businesses, unions, government entities and non-profit organizations. The Bank’s award-winning digital banking platform allows consumer clients to bank from anywhere with a computer or mobile device and provides convenient features such as check deposit, bill pay, card management, and a personal financial management dashboard. Business clients enjoy a wide array of award-winning deposit products, advanced treasury management services, and loan and payment solutions. In addition, Radius’ suite of open APIs deliver a robust banking-as-a-service (Baas) platform for fintechs to quickly access core banking features and build best-in-class financial solutions. Radius specializes in partnering with forward-thinking fintechs to provide white-label deposit products, cards, digital onboarding, and account management. Radius Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and is an Equal Housing/Equal Opportunity Lender. For further information, visit the Bank's website at radiusbank.com, or follow the Bank on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
*Based on the APY average for Interest Checking accounts as published by www.fdic.gov on 6/30/2020.
**Zibo banking services provided by Radius Bank, Member FDIC. Deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor.