Meet Fibre, the Nigerian Startup Revolutionizing the Face of Housing in Nigeria
With a population of over 180 million, Nigeria’s housing scene has become very lucrative as well as pretty tough. First, because of unavailability and second, because of the high cost. However, like virtually every other industry, the Nigerian housing market is in need of innovative solutions to solve these problems. But thanks to tech startups like Fibre, home rentals and home buying just got easier.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) September 6, 2018
Launched in 2016 and headquartered in Lagos, Fibre is disrupting the housing industry in Nigeria by providing an easy access to rental properties and home buying in Nigeria. Unlike the current trend of spending months to find a befitting house for rent and having to pay 1-2 years to rent upfront, Fibre now serves as an intermediary to make you find a property for rent in Nigeria in 3 days and then pay monthly.
Tenants do not even need to pay landlords upfront, as they can do that quarterly. From then on, the startup charges tenants a 15 percent convenience fee, which is lower compared to the standard 20-25 percent fees.
According to Fibre’s founder and CEO, Obinna Okwodu, lack of trust on the part of the home owners is why there is a demand for one to two years upfront rent payments. Although building trust initially was also tough for the startup but now, “having a trusted intermediary (like Fibre) provides security to homeowners and landlords.”
“We created Fibre because we figured housing is too fundamental for people to have to jump through so many hoops,” Okwodu said.
Now, Fibre is taking it a step further, expanding its focus from home rentals to home buying. This was made known by Okwodu while speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco yesterday, where the startup unveiled its plan to launch a home-buying and selling platform that already has $10 million worth of property. For every transaction, it charges a 3 percent fee.
In Nigeria alone, Fibre says about “$3.5 billion is invested in residential real estates”. Keying into this, the startup has launched its new product, Secure.
— Fibre (@fibrelifestyle) September 6, 2018
With the new product, anyone can invest in residential real estate across Africa. Through this platform, people can purchase portions of or entire properties via Secure and then rent it out via Fibre’s first product.
Since its creation, the startup has raised about $790k in funding and is currently available in Lagos. But it plans to expand it’s innovations across Africa very soon.
The startup, which has also guaranteed $1.5 million worth of rental payments to landlords as its main product, currently lists 200 rental units.
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