Apartment List raises $50 million to add more kinds of listings

In a quest to become the Zillow of rentals, Apartment List will display more listings from individual owners—not just giant apartment complexes

Apartment List raised $50 million through a Series C funding round to add a greater variety of listings to its rental marketplace, the platform announced Thursday.

The round, led by Passport Capital founder John Burbank, brings Apartment List’s total funding since its founding in 2011 up to $110 million.

“Today’s rental market is experiencing a major shift, as more and more people delay homeownership,” Burbank, who will join Apartment List’s board of directors, said in a statement. “There is a huge opportunity to capitalize on this underserved segment.”

Apartment List will use its influx of cash to add “long-tail listings,” or rental listings by individual homeowners, to its marketplace–alongside the apartment complex listings that have been the site’s focus. Listings by owners for single-family homes and condos make up about a third of the total rental market, according to Apartment List (35 percent, according to a recent report from the Urban Institute).

“Historically, our product and sales teams have focused on large, professionally managed buildings across the country,” Apartment List CEO John Kobs said. “The primary use of our Series C will be to bring a broader, more diverse set of listings to our renters.”

In practice, that means that Apartment List will focus on building more product tools for landlords. The site’s resources have for the most part so far been put toward polishing the experience for renters. The company plans to double its headcount, with many members of its incoming staff focusing on these goals.

The shift in resources means that Apartment List could gain a greater presence in high-demand cities like New York and San Francisco. Adding more individual listings opens up more supply to renters in competitive markets.

The marketplace’s focus on professionally managed apartment complexes has so far led it to concentrate on markets with more of those vacancies to fill, in cities like Denver, Dallas and Houston.

These goals align with Apartment List’s growth through recent partnerships with Realtor.com, Facebook Marketplace and Homes.com. In the past year, Apartment List says that the site has grown the number of properties on its site by 50 percent and doubled the number of leases signed on its platform. The site wants to do for rentals what Zillow did for buyers and sellers, Kobs said.

Apartment List says that one out of 183 renters who come to the marketplace find a home there. With its $50 million on hand, the platform expects that figure to rise to one in 64 over the next year.

Email Emma Hinchliffe