Investing in Belong — Renting People Love

Jonathan Shriftman
3 min readMay 26, 2022


Belong is making the terms landlords and tenants obsolete

Over the last 10 years, I’ve moved more than six times in cities like San Francisco, Miami, and New York. In my twenties, I’d been priced out of homeownership. So as a renter, I would have to find a home, apply, move in, deal with home repairs, and eventually move out, usually due to unfair rent hikes. It’s always been a dire process.

For my landlords, I imagine finding a stable tenant, collecting rent, and doing necessary maintenance isn’t something they looked forward to either. In fact, many of my landlords were “accidental landlords”, someone who rents their home after struggling to find a buyer.

Now more than ever, there exists a division between tenants and landlords. The last 40 years saw a combination of stagnant wages and a restricted housing supply due to local and federal policies. As a result, home prices have increased dramatically to unsustainable levels, creating entire generations of perpetual renters. The average worker with an average salary is priced out of the average home.

Today, I’m so excited to announce Expanding Capital’s investment in Belong’s Series C. The mission of Belong is to create authentic belonging experiences, empowering residents to become homeowners and homeowners to become financially free.

Other investors in Belong’s $80M Series C Financing include Fifth Wall, Battery Ventures, GGV Capital, and a16z.

In simple words, Belong is on a mission to make the terms landlords and tenants obsolete. Replacing them with a more caring, empowering, and human-centric system.

As the founders describe it, “Belong has made owning a rental home easy and stress-free enabling more individuals to build equity in, and generate cash flow from, their homes — ultimately building towards financial freedom. We do this by offering a one-stop-shop home management platform for homeowners so they never have to be a landlord, get financial tools to manage their investment, guaranteed rent, and have their home be taken care of by high-quality residents and our in-home maintenance team. As a result, our homeowners can now become small-scale investors using Belong’s system.”

Beyond the mission, Belong has created a three-sided marketplace between homeowners, residents, and service professionals. This not only disrupts the real estate classifieds market (Yellowpages -> Craigslist -> Belong), but it also serves as a beachhead for a plethora of other services and products they can sell to all three parties, making the home-owning, renting, and fixing experience so much better.

The opportunity to grow this three-sided marketplace is gigantic:

  • The US rental market size is around 44 million homes.
  • $850b in rental payments in the US per year.
  • $50b in residential property management.
  • $560b in residential renovations and construction (Belong charges $125/hr for a Pro)
  • $400b+ in Residential Insurance, financial products, mortgage financing, and refinancing.
  • $1T+ in various different home and rental insurance products.
  • 12M homes owned by accidental landlords (not professional)

The market is highly competitive, fragmented, and saturated due to its size, age, necessity, and elasticity dynamics. This is true for the greater Real Estate market, and it is also true for the residential rental market. Despite (and as a result of) these conditions, it’s not a winner takes all market, and it allows the many winners to be very well off in each of the sub-markets stated above. Since Belong is launching products and services into each of the sub-markets mentioned above, through a verticalized platform, they’ll capture a larger share of wallet from both the homeowners and renters while still providing a service both deem necessary and desirable.

The potential of this business is huge, and it brings along with it a more human experience of renting.



Jonathan Shriftman

Resident of NYC. Partner at Expanding Capital. Previous founder at @Humin (acq. by Tinder) & @SoleBicycles, and head of BD at Snaps.