Safely raises $12m in venture capital and debt

US: Short-term rental insurance and guest verification platform, Safely, has announced that it has raised $12 million in venture capital investment and debt to accelerate its market penetration in the United States.

The round was led by growth firm LAGO Innovation Fund, with participation from technology investment firm Highgate Technology Ventures, Greenlight Re Innovations and other existing investors.

As the short-term rental market has continued to grow in recent years, more homeowners are seeking to monetise their homes and become hosts, however concerns remain over the potential for property damage and liability exposure, leaving them more reluctant to allow “Internet strangers” to stay in their properties.

Safely claims to address these potential friction points by screening each guest, thereby reducing the likelihood that the homeowner will incur a loss. Safely also embeds commercial insurance protection directly into each reservation through its partnerships with the industry’s leading property management systems.

Since its launch in 2015, the Atlanta-based company claims to have protected over $100 billion in homeowner liability over two million nights, allowing it to build a more robust view of risk factors within the short-term rental market and the broader sharing economy.

Andrew Bate, founder and CEO of Safely, said: “LAGO and HTV quickly understood the potential of Safely’s home rental protection, and we look forward to collaborating with them to make our program world-class. We are excited to work with Greenlight Re and their recently launched Lloyd’s syndicate as it will enable Safely to expand its product offerings worldwide.”

Raja Goel, partner at HTV, said: “Safely is making great progress and it is clear they are gaining momentum. Andrew and his team are building a remarkable company which is evident in the tremendous growth Safely has experienced over the last few years.

“We look forward to expanding our partnership with them as they continue to deliver innovative solutions in the short-term rental protection market,” added Goel.

Greenlight Re CEO Simon Burton said: “The significant growth of the short-term rental market has occurred despite the absence of a suitable insurance product. Safely has the right product to respond to this demand and has prioritised customer experience through their impressive platform.”