Ekaya in Ventureburn

We were featured on Ventureburn today! 

Ekaya.co describes itself as an Airbnb for long-term renting. It’s a trust-based marketplace where you can list, find and rent a place from your phone and on the web. Landlords, on the other hand, have a platform to advertise, vett tenants, collect rental and manage risk. But apart from that, the South African based startup has a lot of other features that make it unique and really exciting.
At face value, Ekaya has a self-proclaimed killer discovery experience. Currently in private beta, the user interface works smoothly while clever filter sliders help the searching process. The map interface is pretty, useful and seems to do the job.

Read the full article here

Ekaya Supports #ResetTheNet

At NetProphet 2014 Simon Dingle said that we are only beginning to learn how to deal with online privacy. This is all new stuff for us as a species and it is moving fast. Future generations will look at back as us and laugh at the ridiculous mistakes we made.

#ResetTheWeb is a move that I think will put a damper on our future critics fun. Perhaps they will point to June the 5th 2014 and say, “That is when it started to turn”.

At Ekaya we have implemented site-wide SSL (https) since the beginning. As of June the 5th we will also have implemented HSTS – which is not that impressive once you know how ridiculously easy it is to do.

These are simple things we as society can do to share only what we want to share. To protect ourselves and those we interact with on this great global network everyday. And to be less of a joke to future generations.

Watch the video here.

Ekaya.co in HumanIPO

The 88mph accelerator programme in Cape Town held its Investor Day on the 16th April, with seven startups pitching to potential investors to secure follow-on funding.

HumanIPO reported yesterday the startups that would be pitching were appointments service diarize.me, event dating app Catch, pet food delivery service Pet Heaven, property rental marketplace Ekaya, big data and mobile commerce service Graphflow, insurance premium receipting and allocation firm Byte Money, and premium ad network 8Bit.

“I can’t believe we’re ten weeks in. It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride building a product from the ground up in this time to present it tonight. It has been an extreme schedule but really, really rewarding,” Ekaya chief executive officer (CEO) Justin R Melville told HumanIPO at the event.

“It’s a strange combination between excitement and fear,” he said ahead of his pitch.

Ekaya.co in HumanIPO

South African startup Ekaya, which has launched in order to help property owners and tenants connect with each other, has announced the start of its early access phase, allowing tenants to create a profile in advance of the platform going live.

HumanIPO reported last month Ekaya.co was founded by chief executive officer (CEO) Justin R Melville, chief technology officer (CTO) Rudolf Vavruch and chief operating officer (COO) Ruark Ferreira at the beginning of 2014, borrowing from online dating platforms in the way it operates.

“What we borrow from online dating is the way to make yourself look pretty,” said Melville. “So the idea of creating yourself a profile in the hope of netting someone of the opposite sex. In our equation, landlords are the ladies and tenants are the gents.”

The platform allows tenants to supply references, credit checks, earning power and criminal records to the landlord, cutting out the need for a rental agent and allowing landlords to browse suitable candidates.

Tenants can then share their profile with anyone they wish, through social media and email.

The trio originally raised US$50,000 from Mark Heerden, who has also provided mentorship to Ekaya and past ventures started by Melville, Ferreira and Vavruch, while currently the company is part of 88mph’s 2014 accelerator programme in Cape Town.

Ekaya.co In BDLive

AFRICAN start-up funder 88mph has enrolled seven new businesses in its 2014 programme.

It helps these businesses with investment, access to business networks and technical infrastructure in exchange for a small equity stake. It has already spent more than $1m on investing and supporting start-ups in Africa. Among its funders is 4Di Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund.

The venture company now has more than 30 companies in its programme — 20 in Kenya and 10 in South Africa — and hopes to add 10 more in the latter.

The company said the start-ups were from different fields within mobile technology and were selected after a three-month programme to vet more than 300 applicants.

Dan Bowyer, programme manager at 88mph, said: “This year we’ve invested in seven businesses from various sectors — pet food to dating, ad networks to cash collection. Right now the teams are working hard to release beta versions of their products to get market feedback.”

Also on the list is Ekaya, developed by Justin R Melville, Ruark Ferreira and Rudolf Vavruch, which matches great landlords with great tenants.

Mr Melville said: “We didn’t really understand what an accelerator was until we started at 88mph … (it) has been like a lightning rod for us. The people, energy and momentum from the programme has been incredible, literally game-changing.”

Ekaya.co in Bizcommunity

Developed by Justin R. Melville, Ruark Ferreira and Rudolf Vavruch, Ekaya.co is a radical new marketplace that matches great landlords with great tenants – making renting easier, quicker, more affordable and secure.

Melville explains that its influences have been platforms like Airbnb, online dating sites, Gumtree and OLX.

He says they initially joined the 88mph programme with a product that would help surface and find show houses on a Sunday. “A very good idea, but a very bad business,” he says. The strategy was tweaked, but the initial vision stayed the same as the Ekaya team’s passion is to create great software and build great apps. 

In addition, they are currently working on developing a new product – an insurance style policy which will replace the idea of a rental deposit.

Ekaya.co in How We Made It In Africa

When it comes to investing in African startups, there have been many cases where investors have expressed more of an interest in entrepreneurs themselves, rather than business ideas. But why would investors want to back the jockey, rather than the horse?

Last week How we made it in Africa briefly met the seven tech startups selected by the Cape Town round of the seed fund and three month accelerator programme 88mph. Of the seven ventures selected this year, two had changed their ideas immediately after starting the programme, either because their initial focus was not scalable or profitable.

What is interesting though, was that these entrepreneurs were still selected into the programme, even though they were soon advised by the 88mph mentors to change their ideas.
One of these is Ekaya.co, a marketplace that matches quality landlords with quality tenants, to make the rental process simpler and more secure. However, when the Ekaya team was selected to join 88mph, they were not pitching the startup they have today.

“We actually joined 88mph with a product that helped find show houses on a Sunday,” explained Justin R. Melville, one of the founders of Ekaya. “A very good idea, but turns out it’s not a very good business and that was one of the things we were challenged with when we joined 88mph.”

Kresten Buch, founder of 88mph, said the accelerator programme and seed fund is looking to invest more in entrepreneurs, rather than in ideas. When asked to define 88mph’s ideal entrepreneur, he added that it is less about the personality of a person, and more about the mentality. For example, the programme accepts entrepreneurs who are not only able, but also willing to dedicate their time to growing their startup.

“They are willing to give up probably a relatively good paying job, or willing to give up some kind of benefit or security right now for the opportunity to actually build something they believe in… It’s tough and it takes a long time to build a company so if you don’t have that kind of mentality, you are never going to make it.”

Ekaya.co featured in HumanIPO

South African startup Ekaya has launched to help property owners and tenants connect with one another, providing landlords with a platform on which to list property and tenants with a space to create a comprehensive renting profile.

Ekaya was founded by chief executive officer (CEO) Justin R Melville, chief technology officer (CTO) Rudolf Vavruch and chief operating officer (COO) Ruark Ferreira at the beginning of 2014, borrowing from online dating platforms in the way it operates.

“What we borrow from online dating is the way to make yourself look pretty,” said Melville. “So the idea of creating yourself a profile in the hope of netting someone of the opposite sex. In our equation, landlords are the ladies and tenants are the gents.”

Tenants use the platform to supply references, credit checks, earning power and criminal records to the landlord, cutting out the need for a rental agent and allowing landlords to browse suitable candidates.

Ekaya.co & 88MPH in HumanIPO Article

88mph managing director (MD) Kresten Buch told HumanIPO in this investment round the fund had invested in startups which had made slightly more progress than those usually chosen by 88mph, with 50 per cent having paying clients and all but one having launched a product prior to joining the programme.

“It is still early days and many things need to be proven for the businesses to grow, but we are excited founders want us to invest in them even if they are up and running, and in many cases we feel we and our network can add more value to them in this phase compared to if they just show up with an idea they dreamed up the day before,” he said.

Justin Melville, founder of Ekaya, said: “We didn’t really understand what an accelerator was until we started at 88mph. 88mph has been like a lightning rod for us, the people, energy and momentum from the programme has been incredible, literally game-changing.”

Read the rest of the article here

Ekaya.co & 88MPH in Ventureburn Article

Ekaya, developed by Justin R. Melville, Ruark Ferreira and Rudolf Vavruch, are launching a radical new marketplace that matches great landlords with great tenants. The service is meant to make renting easier, quicker, more affordable and secure.

Ekaya’s Melville commented, “88mph has been like a lightning rod for us, the people, energy and momentum from the programme has been incredible, literally game-changing.”

Read the rest of the article here

Welcome to the new Ekaya.co

Today Ekaya.co, after 5 weeks in the 88MPH incubator, launches its new rental focused product and are super excited to start talking about it with the public.

At some point in your life, you’ll either be a tenant or a landlord. We’re making stuff you’re going to be interested in. Some of the key features of the new product are:

  • Help you find a great place to live
  • Make renting more affordable
  • Make it easier to find good tenants
  • Offer outstanding security

We’ll be releasing our first public version of the new Ekaya.co later this week. Until then any questions can be directed to hello@ekaya.co