A $3 million injection of funding for Lula means more jobs for Kansas City, revealed Bo Lais.
But that’s not all it signals, he added, noting the fast-growing startup to watch is well on its way to achieving major milestones in 2022.
“We truly believe in solving real problems in this industry and always think how we can do that with technology first,” Lais, founder and CEO, told Startland News Wednesday in announcement of the close of the round.
Backed entirely by Park City, Utah-banked RET Ventures, the $3 million raise is expected to help Lula double the size of its team — enabling it to further grow its lauded and widely-used smart property maintenance platform, ultimately aiming to triple revenue.
“While today’s rental market features technology to manage everything from leasing to amenities and rental payments, the process of requesting property maintenance work and liaising with external vendors remains largely dependent on antiquated, inefficient systems,” Lais explained in a release, noting the platform is used currently by more than 40,000 rental units in 10 U.S. markets.
“We have a third of the overall investment planned for investing in advancing our technology further,” he told Startland News.
The commitment of Lula disrupting the property management space particularly resonated with leaders at RET.
“Property management has long been one of the most costly and labor-intensive aspects of operating a rental home. Our strategic investors have expressed a strong desire for a solution capable of streamlining and modernizing this antiquated process, and we believe Lula represents the most impactful solution on the market,” said Aaron Ru, the firm’s vice president.
“Their platform has already attracted dozens of major owner-operators in the single-family rental market, which has been experiencing rapid growth and is poised for even more expansion in the coming years.”
With Lula reaching profitability in 2021, raising a significant amount of capital was the next step in a strategic push to reach widespread scale, Lais explained. The startup had previously raised just under $1.2 million. It was launched in 2016.
“Although several companies are taking a similar tack to improving real estate maintenance, we’re proud of the unique approach, technology and user experience we’ve developed,” he said.
“Based on client feedback, the Lula platform is unrivaled when it comes to coordinating ongoing work orders at single-family and multifamily properties — and we’re eager to scale our growth and streamline maintenance operations for a growing group of residential operators across the country.”
When the opportunity to work with RET presented itself, Lais said he and his team couldn’t think of a better firm to partner with as they work to realize the overall goal of Lula, noting the success of the startup in the last year meant it could focus more on growth and less on survival.
“[Reaching profitability] allowed us to explore different strategic investment partners and not take just any offer put in front of us for survival. We had several investment offers on the table but ultimately thought [RET] was the best fit,” he said, adding that the fund is comprised of some of the nation’s largest property management companies and focused solely on proptech.
“They’re extremely thoughtful individuals. I couldn’t be happier with our decision to work with [RET] to grow Lula exponentially over the next few years.”
Click here to learn more about the work of RET Ventures.
Watch a video below from Bo Lais’ interview with Startland News as part of the Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2022 broadcast.