A New Initiative Could Play a Major Part in Ending Homelessness: Irishtown locals co-found Lanu – an exciting housing startup project

David Prendeville

A new proptech startup company, Lanu, which takes its name from the Irish word Leathnú – meaning extend – was recently co-founded by two Irishtown locals. It has also been announced that it is one of two housing related startups to be the first to be invested in by Venture Studio from Crisis, the UK’s national homeless charity.
Lanu, which has already been through the prestigious London Techstars accelerator, has developed a digital solution to assess properties for extension and development potential. Lanu will work with Crisis to help transform existing housing stock available and rapidly create more affordable housing. Crisis’ Venture Studio’s aim is to work with startups that could benefit from investment and specialist support to scale their impactful solutions that will help to end homelessness within our lifetime.
Through Venture Studio, Lanu will be provided with a bespoke programme of support over the next six months. The support will include working with the charity’s expert teams – who have over 50 years’ experience in ending homelessness – as well as people with lived experience of homelessness. Lanu will also have access to Crisis’ network of public and private sector organisations to help expand and develop their products to best tackle homelessness.
Lanu was founded by Shane O’Donnell (RTPI Town Planner), Luke Coburn (PhD applied maths UCD) and co-founded by Lorcan Fox and Ron Byrne (both with a background in media). All four founders went to Marian College while Lorcan and Ron both hail from Tritonville Avenue.
Speaking about the partnership with Venture Studio, Lanu’s Chief Executive, Shane O’Donnell said: “Our team mostly originates from Dublin, where homelessness and housing affordability are major issues. We are therefore keen to partner with Crisis and use our technology to create smarter housing solutions and end homelessness, in the UK and elsewhere. If the potential within the social housing stock was better understood and easier to quantify, it would go a long way to putting roofs over everyone’s heads.”
Lorcan goes on to tell me that “Lanu just launched free analysis of any house in the UK last week and next year the plan is to come to the Irish market which has a very similar set of rules to the UK and clearly a massive need for more social housing, as well as just optimizing homeowners properties. There has been a lot of interest from Irish investors and customers alike.”
We wish Lorcan and the others the best of luck in what sounds like a very noble and exciting endeavour.

For more information visit: https://www.lanu.co.uk/