Lagos skyline [Photo Credit: Britannica]

Expansion plans revealed for Nigerian platform Muster

Nigeria: Nigerian shared accommodation platform Muster has revealed its expansion plans to onboard property owners in Ghana.
Founded by Ibraheem Babalola and Ugochukwu Okoro in 2017, Muster is similar to Airbnb and the Spanish rental service Badi. It currently focuses on locations in Lagos and Abuja.
Properties are listed from third-party owners and undergo a quality control check before they are able to be leased. The company then handles tasks such as rent collection, settlement, weekly check reports, digitised contracts and conflict management.
CEO Babalola said: “Hosts on Muster are able to earn more than 40 per cent on their rooms or their spaces than if they were to list on any other platform or to let traditionally.”
It also uses a flexible subscription payment plan where users can pay their rent monthly, quarterly or annually. Eligibility checks are conducted on prospective subscribers to understand whether the user can afford to pay Muster rent. 
Additional perks such as subsidised gym memberships are offered to financially healthy subscribers.
As a web app, Muster cuts the need for a real estate agent, as users can find the properties that appeal to them most. 
Babalola said: “If you wanted to find a house traditionally then you had to pay agency fees, you had to pay legal fees, you probably had to pay an agent for viewing fee, you had to pay caution fee, and so many fees.
“By removing all these unnecessary friction and middlemen, [we are] essentially democratising the entire process, driving affordability and unlocked rooms in this Lagos.” 
“We founded Muster to make living in Africa easier. There are a lot of problems living in Nigeria and we thought that housing shouldn’t be one of them,” he added.
Beyond providing housing, Muster also harnesses rental data to provide recommendations to home builders and real estate firms about desired locations and the kind of houses people prefer.
Since its launch in 2017, the platform has rented out over 700 rooms and has recorded a pre-seed funding round with investors C5 Capital and a number of private investors. Muster is currently looking to close a funding round later this year.
For more information, visit the Muster website here.

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