Pest Share Snags $4.5 Million Seed Round

Proptech startup brings generational experience and technology to bear on renters and property managers’ pest control issues

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In yet another attempt to bring technology to bear on a common real estate issue, proptech startup Pest Share announced on Tuesday that it has secured a $4.5 million seed round to help renters and property managers with pest control.

Led by Manhattan-based proptech venture capital firm MetaProp and Capital Eleven, with participation from Vesta Ventures and Far Out Venture Capital, the Boise, Idaho-based Pest Share plans to use the seed capital to expand operations and technology development within the rental home market. It will provide cost-effective, on-demand services to residents, while reducing costs for property managers.

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The unique idea of applying technology to the common and distinctly unglamorous field of pest control might seem odd to most entrepreneurs, but not to Landon Cooley, CEO and co-founder of Pest Share.

“I’m the fourth generation in our family in the pest control industry,” said Cooley. “Between me and my co-founders, our team has robust pest control experience at this point. It’s really the new tech generation of a generational business. In 1927, my grandpa emigrated through Staten Island from Ireland and ended up in California. My dad owns a pest control company in Southern California. We’ve all stayed in the business.”

While pest control expertise runs in his family, Cooley is quick to add that his co-founders, Justin and Tom Clements, also had experience in the pest control field prior to founding Pest Share in 2019.

“There is something cool about our getting on this cutting edge of the industry and bringing it to a whole new segment that has not experienced professional pest control at all,” said Cooley.

Pest Share seeks to lower costs and provide greater efficiency for property managers by offering the company’s app as part of renters’ leases, said Cooley. Renters can control pest issues by contacting local service vendors directly, while property managers have different pest control options from which to choose, offering renters one plan as inexpensive as $5 per month to cover bedbugs and fleas.

The company’s technology is intended to remove pest control issues from property managers’ lists of concerns, said Cooley.

“It’s very seamless and hands-free for them,” he said. “Pest control is not the biggest pain point they’re dealing with, especially in terms of maintenance, but it is notable and very meaningful in terms of the residents’ experience. Cockroaches will make people move. Bedbugs will give you terrible reviews. As the experts and the people with domain experience, our platform just takes this off your plate. Think of it like a disaster insurance scenario plan. They pick the coverage for their portfolio, and we activate within their platform.

“For the resident, it’s really simple. If they have a pest issue they go to pestshare.com on their mobile phone. We actually have a piece of technology we built called pest study that is designed to help them identify what pests they’re dealing with, including picture uploads.”

Using its tech platform, Pest Share claims that it can reduce service wait time from work order to fulfillment down to four days, “which for the industry is fast,” Cooley said.

Using technology in the prosaic field of pest control impressed the lead investor in Pest Share’s seed round raise.

“Pest control is one of those often overlooked necessities of property management,” said Zak Schwarzman, general partner at MetaProp.”The basics haven’t changed in decades, and pest incidents are all too often characterized by tenant frustration, lackluster service provision and poor incident transparency for property managers. It’s no wonder pest issues are one of the most frequently cited reasons for lease non-renewal.

“Pest Share flips the traditional pest control model on its head by empowering the tenant, dramatically improving service quality while lowering pricing and providing property managers with transparency and the ability to turn a traditional cost center into a new revenue stream.”

Adding to Pest Share’s modern tech startup profile, the company — while headquartered in Boise — is mostly staffed remotely, with 50 administrative and operational employees spread across six countries including Argentina, Mexico, the Philippines and other parts of Latin America.

Philip Russo can be reached at prusso@commercialobserver.com.