ICO Rating

Rentberry

Rentberry is a new-to-blockchain rental housing platform.

About Rentberry

What is Rentberry?

Rentberry is a new-to-blockchain rental housing platform. Rentberry is not a typical blockchain start-up, in that they already have an established platform and users (tenants and landlords). They are relatively new however, only going live early 2017, and the blockchain leveraged upgrade of their platform has yet to be implemented. Their business currently caters to cities in the U.S.A.

The purpose of Rentberry’s Initial Token Sale (ITS), and conversion to blockchain is to (1) raise capital to expand internationally, and (2) reduce inefficiencies, inconveniences, and insecurities present in the rental housing market today.

Rentberry’s use case is that although the number of renters has substantially increased, with the average person renting until 40 years of age, there remains a number of problems in the current rental housing ecosystem. These include: (1) tedious rental applications, (2) frequent bidding wars with other prospective tenants without transparency on the current bid, (3), uncomfortable face-to-face negotiations, and (4) frozen security deposit assets regardless of tenant’s credentials and track record, to name a few.   

Rentberry claims to make this process less costly, more convenient, secure, and transparent.

Less costly: Agents and brokers sometimes charge additional fees for minimal services, and landlords for tenants to freeze thousands in rental security deposits. Rentberry will eliminate the need for agents and brokers by allowing peer to peer rental negotiations, agreements, and executions. Rentberry will also provide a crowdsourced security deposit network which will effectively unfreeze security deposits to generate interest.  

Convenient: Many practices still involve posting listings or classified ads in local newspapers. Websites are available such as Craiglist, Zillow, Rightmove, Zoopla, but provide limited information on properties, and no support for contracts rent collection, maintenance requests etc. Rentberry will provide a platform with all services in one place, including screening prospective tenants, negotiating, e-signing contracts, paying rent, and hiring third-party providers. Landlords can reject or accept applications in a single click, while providing them with market data to make educated decisions about pricing. The same goes for tenants.

Transparent: Tenants will be able to see other bids on the property. They will also be able to adjust their bids, making this a true auctionary platform. Tenants and landlords will be able to rate each other by submitting reviews. Both parties can access each other’s rental activity via the blockchain. Credit reports, background checks, social media, bankruptcy records, eviction history, and past due account information will also be combined with this information and processed by Rentberry’s backend scoring system to create a tenant / landlord score from 1,000-10,000.

Secure: The platform will be transported to the blockchain, and BERRY used a means of transacting. Scheduling, internal communications, renter and landlord profiles and scores, will all be stored securely and cryptographically on the blockchain. Tenant history will only be available to landlords upon application for a rental, when the tenant cryptographically signs the application with their private key.

Other proprietary features:

Syndication: Using BERRY tokens, landlords can promote their listing not only on Rentberry.com but on additional rental sites that join the ‘Rentberry syndicate’.

Crowdsourced Security Deposit Network: Members of Rentberry will be able to utilize BERRY to fund other tenants’ rental security deposits as a type of loan. They will have access to tenant history, information and scores. The benefit to funders will be in the form of interest (3-7%) and ‘other’ rewards for tenants. Unfortunately it does not seem that Rentberry has fully established how this will work, and why funders would want to lock up their BERRY in this investment, which may be subject not only to BERRY currency value fluctuations, but dependent on the tenant not causing damage. An investor could make 3-7% with more safety in the stock market, or much more with riskier crypto investments. Additionally, not having tenants pay a deposit might remove some of the incentive for them to take good care of their rental.

Auctioning technology: Rentberry believes its technology used to negotiate bidding is intellectual property and is currently filing for patent protection. The technology allegedly will allow for landlords to appropriately price their property effectively in any market conditions, and tenants the ability to seamlessly and transparently negotiate and compete with other tenants. Of note, the application cost for a rental is 1000 BERRY. Any successful rental will have 950 BERRY go towards initial payment, and 50 to Rentberry as a fee. All unsuccessful applications will have funds returned.

Integrations with blockchain and other companies: Rentberry mentions potential collaboration with CIVIC for biometric identity verification, and APII for verified education and professional records. They also mention integration with third party service providers and utility companies to provide seamless utility bill payments. These are purely hypothetical at the time of writing.

Smart locks: Team is currently working on smart lock technology that can be used by landlords to unlock a rental for a potential tenant to view the property. Identity would be confirmed by CIVIC, and the previous issue in this space of electronic lock battery life would be solved by using power from the tenants connected smartphone.

Data generation and utilization: The Rentberry platform will utilize a common theme in blockchain space: data decentralization. The platform, with all data stored on the platform, will offer tenants and landlords the option of commercializing said data to be accessed by third parties. This will be under the control of the user, compliant with security and privacy laws, and will reward users in BERRY. Not noted, is what contact information will be provided to these companies, if users opt for that level of data disclosure. We all know that once your email is out there, there is very little control over whose hands it ends up in. Therefore, this information would ideally be conducted within the Rentberry platform.  

Usecase for the BERRY token:

The BERRY token will be used for all payments on the platform. Landlords, after collecting rent in BERRY, can pay for promotion, invest in security deposits, and hire maintenance providers. Tenants can make rental payments in BERRY. Thus fees associated with credit cards, wire transfers, bounced checks, etc will be removed, and security of transaction with the immutable blockchain ledger.

Red Flag:

The following paragraphs outline some problems evident in Rentberry’s whitepaper and proposed platform, at the time of writing. These are not meant to discourage or encourage investing, but to provide insight on some of the challenges Rentberry will face. An analysis of any blockchain company would identify many challenges.

 

  • Rentberry’s website has some formatting issues that were apparent on first use. This is surprising for an already established business and given the company team has many (5) frontend developers.
  • The bonus structure of their main ICO (volume bonus for purchasing 5+ETH and for large 300 ETH purchasers) is not good practice. See Vitalik Buterin’s tweet for the reasoning.
  • There is a clear unevenness in demand on their platform, as they have 224,000 properties listed, but only 4000 rental applications processed. One might question Rentberry’s profitability and business model. 
  • It is stated in their whitepaper that landlords, collecting rent, could use the BERRY to pay for promotion of their properties. This assumes that the landlord has more than one property to rent, which is probably not the case for the average landlord.
  • It is concerning that there is no process outlined in the whitepaper to ensure liquidity of BERRY. In general, a conversion of the platform completely to BERRY assumes that cryptocurrencies have mass adoption, and this BERRY could then be used or easily converted to a currency to be used in the real world. Given the current state of crypto, landlords will want to liquidate their rent payments to fiat so that they can use them (and also not expose themselves to currency fluctuations). This doesn’t seem incredibly convenient, even though Rentberry’s stated purpose is to make the rental process more convenient for all parties. Other blockchain companies in this space seem to offer rental payments converted automatically to any ERC20 token.
  • It is also advisable to go through their original bitcointalk forum and their newer one, as there are some fraud allegations, although these have not been proven or disproved. These forums are also filled with many good questions with answers provided directly from the Rentberry team.
3.0
Product

Product

Readiness

Is the product ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

2.0
N/A
2 - Proof of concept or test platform.
Appeal

How appealing is the product? How good or necessary is it? Does it have a distinct edge?

3.0
N/A
3 - Interesting.
Target User Base

Is it mass market or niche?

5.0
N/A
5 - General audience / mass market.
Competition

Are there many other similar solutions or is this one of just a few, or even one of a kind?

2.0
N/A
2 - Quite a few / somewhat better competitors.
Innovation

How innovative or inventive is the product, either conceptually or technologically?

3.0
N/A
3 - Partial, a novel approach or aspect.
3.4
Use of Blockchain

Use of Blockchain

Blockchain Development

Is blockchain technology essential? Does it make the solution significantly different and better?

4.0
N/A
4 - Innovative use of blockchain technology.
Disruptive Blockchain Advantage

How disruptive is the introduction of blockchain technology into the product's market space?

3.0
N/A
3 - Potentially disruptive.
Need for Custom Token (vs. BTC or ETH)

Is the token essential or could it be done just as well or better with fiat or Bitcoin?

3.0
N/A
3 - Issuing a custom token is justifiable.
System Decentralization (besides token)

How decentralized is the system architecture other than the token (e.g., data collection, storage, access, and use, or decision making processes, etc.)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Mostly decentralized.
Contribution to Blockchain Ecosystem

How compelling is the solution's contribution to the evolution of blockchain infrastructure and economy?

3.0
N/A
3 - Interesting.
4.0
Whitepaper

Whitepaper

Comprehensiveness

Is there a concrete and practical development plan (vs. just a conceptual vision)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Satisfactory coverage, well written.
Readability

Is it easy enough to understand?

5.0
N/A
5 - Crystal clear. Enjoyable.
Transparency

Does it candidly describe and disclose where the project now stands, how much exists and how much still needs to be done, etc.?

4.0
N/A
4 - Informative disclosure.
Business Plan Presentation

Does it contain a viable, comprehensive business plan?

4.0
N/A
4 - Clear, well thought out, realistic.
Technology Presentation

Does it present a well thought out technological architecture? Does it address implementational challenges?

3.0
N/A
3 - More information required.
2.2
Roadmap

Roadmap

Concreteness

Is there a concrete and practical development plan (vs. just a conceptual vision)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Vague, noncommittal.
Feasiblity

Is the development plan realistic? Is it based on reasonable goals and timelines?

3.0
N/A
3 - Optimistic.
Vision

Is there a larger, long-term vision?

3.0
N/A
3 - A trend with potential.
Dependencies (services or capabilities)

How available, operational, or trusted are the other systems or capabilities on which the project relies?

2.0
N/A
2 - Not fully available or trustworthy.
Current Position

Where is the project now, relative to its vision and plans?

1.0
N/A
1 - Nowhere yet.
2.6
Compliance

Compliance

Token Utility (value through usage)

How much use is there for the token itself (regardless of its value as an investment vehicle)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Distinctive use cases.
Token as Security (tradable instrument)

How valuable is the token as an investment vehicle or financial instrument?

3.0
N/A
3 - Partly; compliance not fully assured.
Token/Smart-Contract Readiness

Is the blockchain infrastructure of the project ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

1.0
N/A
1 - Nothing yet, just an idea.
Attention to Compliance Issues

How much attention is given to compliance (via token and ecosystem design, token sale participation, etc.)? Is this issue addressed directly and coherently?

3.0
N/A
3 - Limited to blanket standard.
Legal Review/Risk Assessment

What kind of legal documentation (reviews or agreements) and risk assessment are provided?

2.0
N/A
2 - Insufficient or unprofessional.
3.6
Company and Team

Company and Team

Company Stage and Foundation

Is the company already established? Has it raised funds before? Is it mature?

5.0
N/A
5 - Well established, has raised significant funds.
Background of Lead Team Members

Do we know who they are? Do they have LinkedIn profiles? Do they have solid, relevant backgrounds?

3.0
N/A
3 - Minimally sufficient.
Team Assembly and Commitment

Is a solid, fully committed core team in place? Do they have online (e.g. LinkedIn) profiles showing sufficient relevant experience? Is their participation transparent?

4.0
N/A
4 - Fully assembled and committed.
Team Skill Set Relevance

Does the amount of talent and skill in each area seem to fit the project requirements?

3.0
N/A
3 - Correlated to project requirements.
Team Skill Set Balance

Is the team well-rounded (biz/tech/blockchain)? Is there sufficient talent and skill in all areas of required development?

3.0
N/A
3 - Somewhat uncertain, probably okay.
3.4
Token Sale

Token Sale

Raise Amount Max

Is there a clear cap? Is the maximum raise amount modestly sufficient (as opposed to either greedy or insufficient)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Somewhat greedy or unrelated to plans.
Raise Amount Min

Is the minimum raise reasonable considering the development plan? Are there raise-amount dependent milestones?

3.0
N/A
3 - Justifiable.
Fund Allocation

Is fund distribution and allocation reasonable and justified?

4.0
N/A
4 - Well defined and reasonable.
Token Allocation

Is the ratio of tokens sold to those kept reasonable? Does it prevent the company from having too much control?

4.0
N/A
4 - Most tokens sold, vesting periods on kept tokens.
Media Presence and Following

Is the sale being talked about in Reddit, Bitcointalk, Social Media, Medium, etc.? Is information available and accessible? Is there interest?

4.0
N/A
4 - Solid exposure and interest, good impression.

Product

Category Breakdown
Readiness

Is the product ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

2.0
N/A
2 - Proof of concept or test platform.
Appeal

How appealing is the product? How good or necessary is it? Does it have a distinct edge?

3.0
N/A
3 - Interesting.
Target User Base

Is it mass market or niche?

5.0
N/A
5 - General audience / mass market.
Competition

Are there many other similar solutions or is this one of just a few, or even one of a kind?

2.0
N/A
2 - Quite a few / somewhat better competitors.
Innovation

How innovative or inventive is the product, either conceptually or technologically?

3.0
N/A
3 - Partial, a novel approach or aspect.
Product Score:
3.0

Use of Blockchain

Category Breakdown
Blockchain Development

Is blockchain technology essential? Does it make the solution significantly different and better?

4.0
N/A
4 - Innovative use of blockchain technology.
Disruptive Blockchain Advantage

How disruptive is the introduction of blockchain technology into the product's market space?

3.0
N/A
3 - Potentially disruptive.
Need for Custom Token (vs. BTC or ETH)

Is the token essential or could it be done just as well or better with fiat or Bitcoin?

3.0
N/A
3 - Issuing a custom token is justifiable.
System Decentralization (besides token)

How decentralized is the system architecture other than the token (e.g., data collection, storage, access, and use, or decision making processes, etc.)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Mostly decentralized.
Contribution to Blockchain Ecosystem

How compelling is the solution's contribution to the evolution of blockchain infrastructure and economy?

3.0
N/A
3 - Interesting.
Use of Blockchain Score:
3.4

Whitepaper

Category Breakdown
Comprehensiveness

Is there a concrete and practical development plan (vs. just a conceptual vision)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Satisfactory coverage, well written.
Readability

Is it easy enough to understand?

5.0
N/A
5 - Crystal clear. Enjoyable.
Transparency

Does it candidly describe and disclose where the project now stands, how much exists and how much still needs to be done, etc.?

4.0
N/A
4 - Informative disclosure.
Business Plan Presentation

Does it contain a viable, comprehensive business plan?

4.0
N/A
4 - Clear, well thought out, realistic.
Technology Presentation

Does it present a well thought out technological architecture? Does it address implementational challenges?

3.0
N/A
3 - More information required.
Whitepaper Score:
4.0

Roadmap

Category Breakdown
Concreteness

Is there a concrete and practical development plan (vs. just a conceptual vision)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Vague, noncommittal.
Feasiblity

Is the development plan realistic? Is it based on reasonable goals and timelines?

3.0
N/A
3 - Optimistic.
Vision

Is there a larger, long-term vision?

3.0
N/A
3 - A trend with potential.
Dependencies (services or capabilities)

How available, operational, or trusted are the other systems or capabilities on which the project relies?

2.0
N/A
2 - Not fully available or trustworthy.
Current Position

Where is the project now, relative to its vision and plans?

1.0
N/A
1 - Nowhere yet.
Roadmap Score:
2.2

Compliance

Category Breakdown
Token Utility (value through usage)

How much use is there for the token itself (regardless of its value as an investment vehicle)?

4.0
N/A
4 - Distinctive use cases.
Token as Security (tradable instrument)

How valuable is the token as an investment vehicle or financial instrument?

3.0
N/A
3 - Partly; compliance not fully assured.
Token/Smart-Contract Readiness

Is the blockchain infrastructure of the project ready for use? Is there a working prototype or MVP? How long until it is operational?

1.0
N/A
1 - Nothing yet, just an idea.
Attention to Compliance Issues

How much attention is given to compliance (via token and ecosystem design, token sale participation, etc.)? Is this issue addressed directly and coherently?

3.0
N/A
3 - Limited to blanket standard.
Legal Review/Risk Assessment

What kind of legal documentation (reviews or agreements) and risk assessment are provided?

2.0
N/A
2 - Insufficient or unprofessional.
Compliance Score:
2.6

Company and Team

Category Breakdown
Company Stage and Foundation

Is the company already established? Has it raised funds before? Is it mature?

5.0
N/A
5 - Well established, has raised significant funds.
Background of Lead Team Members

Do we know who they are? Do they have LinkedIn profiles? Do they have solid, relevant backgrounds?

3.0
N/A
3 - Minimally sufficient.
Team Assembly and Commitment

Is a solid, fully committed core team in place? Do they have online (e.g. LinkedIn) profiles showing sufficient relevant experience? Is their participation transparent?

4.0
N/A
4 - Fully assembled and committed.
Team Skill Set Relevance

Does the amount of talent and skill in each area seem to fit the project requirements?

3.0
N/A
3 - Correlated to project requirements.
Team Skill Set Balance

Is the team well-rounded (biz/tech/blockchain)? Is there sufficient talent and skill in all areas of required development?

3.0
N/A
3 - Somewhat uncertain, probably okay.
Company and Team Score:
3.6

Token Sale

Category Breakdown
Raise Amount Max

Is there a clear cap? Is the maximum raise amount modestly sufficient (as opposed to either greedy or insufficient)?

2.0
N/A
2 - Somewhat greedy or unrelated to plans.
Raise Amount Min

Is the minimum raise reasonable considering the development plan? Are there raise-amount dependent milestones?

3.0
N/A
3 - Justifiable.
Fund Allocation

Is fund distribution and allocation reasonable and justified?

4.0
N/A
4 - Well defined and reasonable.
Token Allocation

Is the ratio of tokens sold to those kept reasonable? Does it prevent the company from having too much control?

4.0
N/A
4 - Most tokens sold, vesting periods on kept tokens.
Media Presence and Following

Is the sale being talked about in Reddit, Bitcointalk, Social Media, Medium, etc.? Is information available and accessible? Is there interest?

4.0
N/A
4 - Solid exposure and interest, good impression.
Token Sale Score:
3.4