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People on the Move

Rent.com.au, the Australia-based rental property site, posted 10% revenue growth in the fourth quarter of the 2018 fiscal year — but it’s still no closer to profitability.

Chief executive Greg Bader blamed a sluggish first half on the company’s lackluster performance in the past year, but said the company had posted “one of our best ever EBITDA quarters.”

Rent chief executive Greg Bader (Photo from his LinkedIn page, with thanks)

Rent chief executive Greg Bader

Quarterly revenue sat at $580,000 AUD ($395,020 U.S.), driven by growth in its “Renter Products” business and display advertising.

“The key driver was our refreshed RentBond product,” Bader said in a statement to the ASX. “We had identified the need to expand this beyond purely being a bond financing solution and we are now able to offer higher loan amounts, broader borrowing purposes, and longer durations than before, by changing loan providers to Fair Go Finance.”

Bader said since expanding its RentBond product, there’s been a 25% increase in average loan sizes, “which results in increased revenue for Rent.”

The company’s ongoing cost-cutting measures also helped trim its EBITDA losses to $425,000 ($289,454 U.S.) — an improvement of 27% on last quarter.

It also closed a $2 million AUD capital raising during the quarter, through the placement of additional shares. The company didn’t state how the funds would be used but indicated it would go towards growing the RentPay business it acquired off accounting software provider MYOB last year. So far, that’s included launching a RentPay app in beta to allow tenants to manage their rent payments, view payment histories and set up reminders. RentPay is used by around 5,500 real estate agents to automate the collection of rent payments and is key to Rent’s future profitability.

“We are focussed on expanding out RentPay proposition, which is a logical extension to our efforts in creating the leading renter-oriented site in the country and will see us become an integral part of our customer’s journey from search through to the tenancy period,” Bader said.

But the company is still yet to breakeven, and while it still maintains profitability is in sight, it provided no details on when that might be.

“With our capital raising now largely completed and our return to revenue growth, we are in a good position to reach our goal of profitability in the near term,” Bader said.

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