There was something about New York City that was giving Susannah Vila ’15BUS commitment issues – real estate commitment issues, that is. Since moving to the city 11 years ago, Susannah changed apartments 14 times, moving in and out of neighborhoods in spans as short as a month. Susannah realized she wasn’t the only one in the city who couldn’t stay put for very long — millennials can be especially nomadic, regularly looking to change jobs, roommates, and views — and that’s what led her to found Flip, a company that helps NYC tenants find people to take over their leases. Fast forward two years and the company has just raised a new infusion of $2.2 million to add to the $1.2 million in angel investments from last year.
“We want to create a more flexible way of leasing property,” Susannah told TechCrunch about Flip. “There are people who cannot or just don’t want to live in these 12- or 24-month lease cycles.” She built Flip’s philosophy around the idea that people should not plan their life around the terms of their lease – instead, as the company’s site says, “do what you want, when you want, without fees or hassle.”
The company, a Columbia Startup Lab and Techstars NYC alum, is streamlining all parts of the subletting process in the city. Making it possible is Flip’s innovative online workflow tools, which help renters transfer money, sign leases, and stay compliant with landlord and state rules.
Now, Susannah, like Flip’s users, is looking for her next location. As Flip continues to service renters in New York City, the company is also in beta testing in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston.