Tolet.com.ng just got a makeover – or shall we say, it’s appyling the last blotches of paint. The Nigerian properties listing website, one of Spark portfolio companies, just shared initial renders of their new website.
But that’s not the only thing going on. The company is also slightly pivoting its business. Instead of an open real estate listing website, the startup says the platform will now be a “controlled marketplace platform.”
Co-founder, Sulaiman Balogun, says the flagship product on the new model will be the Tolet Partner Agent Program. According to him, “[It] will avail participating real estate agents the opportunity to leverage our platform to generate more leads, and ultimately grow their real estate business.”
What “controlled marketplace” means is not immediately obvious but Sulaiman attempts to explain it. “On our platform, we have a system that exercises a lot of control on how participating agents offer their services. The agents are expected to conduct their business and customer relations in line with Tolet’s prescribed code of business conduct. [The] rating system keeps all agents on our platform on their best professional behaviour, thus “controlled marketplace”.
The new controlled marketplace model will auto-moderate itself, Sulaiman tells TechCabal. “Agents that fall below the bench-marked star rating or violate our terms of engagement are booted off the platform,” he said.
The new Tolet will launch fully in the coming week, according to Sulaiman. From its pilot, Tolet has signed up 64 agents to its partner programme and expects the number to increase when it rolls out fully.
Sulaiman added that the new Tolet will also launch a product for individual house owners “which is basically a technology-powered platform accessible to landlords via which they can rent, sell and manage their properties.”
Tolet is one of Spark’s (Jason and Bastian’s “accelerator” fund) portfolio companies. Spark is the sole investor in Tolet with $240,000 invested in the startup to date, thought Sulaiman says the startup will be closing a new round very soon. Sulaiman didn’t mention, however, if other investors outside Spark will be participating.
Jason recently identified Tolet as one of Spark’s portfolio companies that are holding up fine. The startup is coming out as another player to reckon with in a market where newly launched Hutbay is also asserting its presence.