In China, rental installments are typically three to six months at a time. WeZebra found a niche market when they realized there are many students or young white collar workers that struggle to pay the fees upfront. Founded earlier this year, the company provides installment payment for low income individuals who are looking to rent homes. They received a 5 million RMB ($771,000 USD) angel investment this February.
The service monetizes through a 4% commission fee for three-months rental and a 6% commission fee for six-month rentals. After the advance payment of the first month’s rental with service fee, the tenant can pay monthly.
Monthly installment platforms are not a new concept for Chinese startups. Fenqile, one of the contributors to this investment, is a Chinese student micro-credit site that allows buyers to borrow small sums of money for consumer electronics, paying them off in monthly installments. The company recently announced a strategic investment from e-commerce giant JD.com this May to offer monthly installments to its customers.
WeZebra’s services now covers three Chinese cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, and they are planning to expand to Guangzhou and Shenzhen later this year. According to the company, some members in the team hail from Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba. The company is founded by post-90s CEO Ping Dong.