“We’re the Uber of gentrification! The TikTok of unaffordability! The Amazon of eviction! The Apple of displacement!” exclaimed Chad Wallinger. Gentri’s 27-year-old Founder and CEO stood sweaty and breathless, arms raised high above his head in exultation at his app’s official launch party in the Brickell City Centre atrium. A Denver native, Wallinger had the pasty, CrossFit-toned body that typified many of Miami’s newest tech residents. Indeed, he moved to the city in early 2020 for the expressed purpose of creating an app that allowed landlords and developers to calculate how much more rent they could squeeze from their tenants.
“When I learned that Miami was the second most unequal city in the U.S., my first thought was ‘Holy crap!’”
He paused for effect.
“This place has a ton of rich people who don’t know how much money they can extract from their poors!”
The well-coifed crowd laughed knowingly.
Gentri’s slick, user-friendly platform allows landowners to input their rental property addresses, receive immediate quotes for the highest possible market rent, and then rewrite their tenants’ leases to match that new rate without informing them.
“But the best part,” gesticulated Wallinger at a packed house in designer casualwear. “Is the entire system is automatic. The second your tenants underpay their rents, we connect you with freelance goons to evict them, cleaners to remove the overpowering smell of poverty, and interior designers to furnish your apartments for people who can afford—and truly deserve— them. Then we pay off inspectors for any lingering code violations and boom! The whole thing is done without you ever leaving your couch!”
Some critics assert that Gentri is expressly designed to streamline the dispossession of already marginalized communities, as landlords can swipe left or right on thousands of potential residents whose only information are headshots and annual incomes.
“And I know what some naysayers are claiming,” Wallinger made a mouth out of a free hand, pointed it at his face, and flapped its jaws while speaking in an exaggerated falsetto. “Aren’t you just whitewashing communities of color for profit?”
He grimaced dramatically and dropped the hand-mouth and falsetto, turning serious.
“But here at Gentri, we’re all about diversity and inclusion. After all, we’re only replacing dark minorities—like Haitians, African Americans, and Central Americans—with richer, lighter minorities—like Cubans, Brazilians, and Argentines… and White people. OK, so it’s mostly White people, but they’re a minority in Miami, so it’s still win for diversity!”
The crowd roared in approval.
Having raised a $250 million Series D funding round, Gentri’s next move is to expand further into the gentrification market by allowing developers to evict and demolish entire neighborhoods and replace them with more yuppie-filled glass and steel monstrosities.
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