Startup Of The Week: Letsinvest
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor, this startup makes it simple. We present you our next Startup Of The Week – Letsinvest, a fintech startup that created a co-investing platform that gives access to commercial and residential real estate projects. They connect two groups of people into one exciting place: the well-established developers of real estate projects that have a long-term perspective, and investors, seeking to directly invest with higher interest rates, but minimal risk. Let’s read their story. 🤩⤵️
Tell us about your startup. What is Letsinvest? And how does it work?
Letsinvest is an investment boutique for real estate investments. Letsinvest unites real estate professionals who are looking for financing and investors who are seeking to co-finance real estate projects. Letsinvest operates as a crowd-investing platform, focusing on bigger investors, thus, any investor can participate starting from EUR 100 and co-invest together with the large-scale investors.
What are your competitive advantages that work? What are your competitors?
We work in an intense market: crowd-investing platforms are getting popular, the number of market players is increasing and people are more and more willing to invest their money.
We are exceptional due to several reasons.
First of all, we do suggest big real estate projects, which means that we are attractive to large investors. This is not a common thing in the market and we are one of a few platforms for larger investments starting from EUR 100 000.
Second, we offer conservative projects with a fixed return in a short 1-2 year period. Before publishing a project on the platform, our team of experts performs a deep analysis, checking the sustainability of the project and business plan, understanding all possible risks, and choosing only those projects which meet the high standards. We do so to ensure that our investors get a return on their investments and during our first year of operation, we succeeded in all our projects.
And last but not least, we create the opportunity for smaller investors to participate in large projects, which means that small investments starting from EUR 100 can be made next to professional investors. This is an exceptional opportunity for small investors who are probably just beginning their investment journey to participate in a big game and start from a safe type of investment with a fixed return.
The competitive environment as mentioned before is very intense. We consider other real estate crowd-investing platforms as our main and primary competitors, but looking from the investors’ perspective, all possibilities to invest are our competition: from banks to funds.
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?
We do believe that good ideas must have an opportunity to be implemented and sometimes those ideas do not get a chance due to some corporate rules of, for example, banks. We see our purpose as being a platform that connects money in the most efficient way increasing sustainability in finance.
This belief made us come up with a good idea ourselves – we created a crowd-investment platform where worth-to-be-implemented real estate projects can get a chance to become a part of our country architecture history; and where people who have the money can be a part of real estate development, can vote with their money for the projects they like and they see as needed to be built, getting guaranteed safe return of their investments.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
We launched in December 2020. At that time the main challenge was to ensure a good user experience on our platform as we wanted our investors to have the easiest and most convenient way to choose the projects to invest in.
In the middle of 2021, we improved significantly by integrating the direct payment solution and partnering with Ondato for the KYC processes. These two decisions have eased the investment process for the investors and helped us to grow significantly.
As we connect real estate developers with investors our target audience is two-fold.
From investors’ perspective, our focus is medium-to-large scale investors who are looking for conservative short-term investment opportunities.
From project owners’ perspective, we are looking for real estate projects with a sound business plan and a value of over 1M. Our team of experts evaluates each project’s business plan, never just the asset value.
What are the biggest challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming it?
As the market is tight in terms of competition, the most challenging part is to sustain a long-term strategy and avoid short-term returns. We are looking to build a European leading platform that takes time and a delicate approach. The key component is a trust which can be earned over time and by fulfilling raised expectations. Therefore, at the current stage of start-up, our focus is on carefully selecting partners and building trust from our investors.
Tell us more about funding. How did you get it? Do you seek extra funding?
Currently, there have not been any funding rounds from venture capital. As opposed to most startups, 8 stars, the company managing the Letsinvest platform, was profitable in the first year of operation (i.e., 2021). Nevertheless, there might be a demand for outside capital in the future.
Please introduce your team!
The Letsinvest team consists of the main office and advisory board.
Vytenis Kinduris, co-owner, and head of the board were always really into real estate, he steers the wheel of the platform. He has more than 25 years of experience in international business development and real estate. By combining competencies in different fields, Vytenis leads Letsinvest in its journey to becoming a leading European platform.
The right hand of Vytenis is Martynas Cimbalas, project manager in Letsinvest. He is a finance and economy specialist, who graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, the leading business school in the Baltics. Martynas takes care of projects’ risk analysis, gathering and preparing all information for investors. Next to that Martynas is the head of ideas – he is always thinking about how to improve the platform and implementing the best ideas to make the experience smoother for investors.
This office team is strongly supported by an advisory board: people with different areas of expertise. Two strong real estate and finance experts, who are considered as one of the biggest names in the country; their goal is to evaluate possible real estate projects and advise whether the projects’ business plan is sustainable enough to be financed. Alongside real estate experts, the board is complemented with the law and technology experts who contribute when it comes to law questions or take care of all technical solutions on the platform: payments, data protection, meeting all the requirements of Lithuanian Bank, and so on.
Strong startup culture isn’t something that can be created overnight but it can be worked towards with some conscious moves. What are your moves towards this?
We cannot say we have something called a “strong startup culture” which we follow and want to reach. We create our own culture which is made by the people who work in Letsinvest and the main values we have are respecting each other, listening and trusting each other, and being proactive in improving the project every second of our working lives. We are a young startup, so the main thing we want to establish is clock accuracy in all we do as a team and the main rule for this is respect, trust, and communication.
⭐️ Bonus question: what’s next? Tell us about your future plans.
Lithuanian real estate market is our alma mater, but our goal is to become a leading European platform. As a result, next year we will continue strengthening our presence in Lithuania parallelly to expanding our services abroad. The new market(-s) that we are going to enter will be disclosed in the near future.
Thanks for sharing your story, Letsinvest team!