After winning first place in the Rent Orpi Innovative start-up trophy in October, Unkle and its three founders temporarily set their bags in the heart of Silicon Valley, at the premises of the Plug and Play incubator.
Matthieu Luneau (CEO and former lawyer), Cédric Baulme (COO) and Charles-André Richard (CTO) intend to revolutionize the world of housing with their online guarantor website, starting with the French scene. For a year now, they have been focusing on their concept, where only personal finances are taken into account when the file is created.
Like more than 6 million French people, Matthieu Luneau and his associates have been confronted with galleys related to the search for housing. "We ended up with a common problem: finding an apartment. As a lawyer, I encountered some difficulties. My concern? I was independent. In France, if you want to rent a home, you are asked to have a permanent contract, a salary that can cover three times the rent, a solid guarantor and a banking history. If you stray from this path, it is almost impossible to find THE dwelling of your dreams."
This situation is known by the impatriates returning to France. Having no guarantor or a solid contract upon their return, they are sometimes forced to move away from their main focus of research.
"With Unkle, we offer our customers to become their guarantor after submission of an online file. We have implemented a scoring system more or less similar to what is done in the United States, explains Matthew Luneau. We have created an algorithm that evaluates the creditworthiness of each according to their personal situation and their banking data. In case of unpaid bills, we have an insurance system ready to pay the rent due."In return, Unkle asks a monthly guarantee to its customers that equates to 3.5% of the rent paid each month.
Incubated for an indefinite period at Plug and Play, the French start-up has already raised a million euros and hopes to continue this momentum by renewing the experience in the coming months. In the meantime, the founders of Unkle are making the most of their presence in Silicon Valley to learn from the American ecosystem. Their goals in the long run? Multiply by 10 then exponentially the number of their customers, succeed their establishment in France, then abroad, starting with Europe then the United States.