Flush with Cash from Target, Startup Attacks Rental Headaches

Landing is a new membership-based firm that provides short-term furnished rentals in some of the country’s most expensive cities.

(Bloomberg)—When Bill Smith moved to San Francisco in 2016 to work on his grocery-delivery startup, the most annoying part was finding an apartment.

Poring through rental listings in an unfamiliar city, calling the gas company, waiting for an internet connection — the entrepreneur had little patience for any of it. So, after Smith sold his company, Shipt, to Target Inc. in 2017 for $550 million, he decided to use some of that cash to do something about it.

In June, using $15 million of his own money, he started Landing, a membership-based firm that provides short-term furnished rentals in some of the country’s most expensive cities. He’s leasing blocs of apartments from landlords including Related Cos. and AvalonBay Communities Inc., filling the units with furniture and dishware, hooking up cable and internet and renting them out at a markup for as little as 30 days.

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