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Direct Line takes 15% stake in UK housing rental market startup

Direct Line Insurance Group Plc has acquired a 15% equity stake in U.K.-based rental market startup Canopy, marking the insurer's latest investment in fintech companies.

Founded in 2016, Canopy aims to provide an alternative to security deposits on housing rentals, through its RentPassport referencing service, which provides proof of an individual's rental and credit history to help landlords and agents vet and pre-approve renters. It can also be used by renters to build a "TrustScore," which will unlock access to a range of insurance products.

Adam Whiteley, Direct Line's director of household development, said the transaction builds on the insurer's vision of being in the "forefront of advancements in the insurance landscape."