Industry – Hospitality
Market: New York, NY
- Featured on NBC, MSNBC, Huffington Post, and Newsweek, among others
- Created two viral videos about housing (400k+ views combined)
- Investors include Ben Franklin Tech Partners and CorLyst Group
- 190,000+ users registered on WYL platform, and 115,000+ blog visits
- Paid Partnerships with Allstate Insurance, MakeSpace & US Army, to name a few.
- : Seed
- Minimum Investment: US $500 per investor
- : Preferred Equity
- : US $2,300,000
- Side by Side Offering
- Pandora Radio Spot Sample:
In 2013, our CEO Ofo Ezeugwu was the VP of the student body at Temple University. He was already an active entrepreneur and had co-founded a brand development firm with his best friend of 17 years, Felix Addison. While serving as VP, Ofo listened to many students who were stressing about how lousy their rental experiences were, due to the abundance of “shady” landlords in the North Philly area. In an effort to solve their issues, Ofo thought: “what if renters could review their landlords? That way, they’d know what to expect before signing the lease.” The idea was one that resonated with students and so Ofo reached out to Felix Addison, COO, and Nik Korablin, CTO, to begin building a beta version which would transform and grow to become WYL.
The WYL co-founders are a relentless group. Their first-generation immigrant backgrounds assist in making them this way. They live amongst the communities they’re working to serve, and their youth and willingness to learn allows them to be the ideal messengers for WYL’s message.
Could you tell us more about your user metrics?Sure, we have over 250,000 users who visit our website and blog looking for reviews, listings, and engagement. About 75,000 of those are on the blog, and engage with its video content. We have had over 60,000 searches in the last 4 months. We have about 8,000 apartment reviews mostly in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Washington DC. Seventy-five percent of all our users are millennials who are 25-year-old on average, and we have seen a growth of about 25% MoM growth in the user base historically. The largest number of our users reside in our pilot cities Philadelphia (80,000) and Brooklyn, NY (50,000), and we have users from over 180 cities.
What is your plan for revenue generation in the future?We hope to generate revenue via the following three avenues: Partnerships – We currently generate revenue through paid sponsorships with companies like Allstate, Roadway Moving, and Dominion Enterprises, and will continue to add partners looking to reach out to partners in the future. Credit Checks – Additionally, we are integrating a partnership with TransUnion which will charge renters a fee of $30 for their credit report, background check, and eviction history – we will split the revenue with TransUnion. It has been contracted and integrated now; will be launching this Fall as an ancillary service. Every booking using credit information will result in revenue share for both parties. Community Fee – WYL will charge a nominal community member fee to renters to have full access to all community insight and landlord reviews provided. The small fee of $10/month will not be for searches (which are free), but for more insights and legal questions on neighborhoods and to hear back from our forum and/or actual residents. We will begin testing in Philadelphia and target a launch Q2 2018.
Could you give us a break out of your revenues (~$34,000) to date?All of our revenue till date has come from Partnerships. In 2017, we received ~$24,000 from Allstate for blogs and content to reach out to our millennial customer base for them. Similarly, in 2016, we received ~$10,000 from Dominion Rental, Moving Co., and Allstate for content creation.
Why are revenues so staggered on “Services”?Currently, the partnerships have been on a one-off basis but Allstate has expanded the relationship a few times and found WYL on their own. In the future, we would like to expand to annual contracts and expect that as long as our user base and data base grows, we would be able to have continual partnerships.
What do you see as possible exit opportunities?We believe the ideal exit opportunity would come in about two years, and we might be acquired by an apartment or home market search listing company.