Startup of the Week: EVOEstate
Startup Lithuania begins the first week of April with weekly rubric “Startup Of the Week”. This time we get to know the passionate team of EVOEstate and their P2P business model of investment. Read the whole interview with Gustas Germanavičius, Co-Founder and CEO of EVOEstate.
So what is EVOEstate? How does it work?
EVOEstate is Europe’s first P2P property deals aggregator/marketplace. We source best P2P Real Estate deals to invest and present them in a single platform. Investors can easily invest in Real Estate projects in 10 countries, diversifying a portfolio, minimising the risks and at the same time earning solid 7-15% yearly returns.
What are your competitors and competitive advantages?
We are the first ones to do it in Europe and yet we do not have any direct competitors. On the other hand, we have plenty of indirect competitors who are general loans aggregators such as Mintos, but their investment opportunities are not secured by property and are in a completely different risk profile. Lastly, traditional businesses like real estate funds and investment brokerages. What really sets us apart is that our services for our clients are completely free, we provide highly diversified investment opportunities and we have skin in the game on every deal that appears on EVOEstate. Skin in the game means, that we put down our own personal money in every deal.
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?
We have been believers in this industry since it began. Once this industry began in Continental Europe, we started investing and with time we built up a considerable level of knowledge and experience. Through this period we had multiple cases where we were able to tell which projects will default and we were right, friends and people from P2P community would ask for our opinions and copy our portfolios. This led us to think, why shouldn’t we create the same opportunity for everyone else. Quickly after, we decided to create a product for investors by investors, solving critical problems, such as diversification and local legal barriers.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
We have launched with private pool of investors back in February. When launching the biggest challenge was naturally regulations. For us to be truly international and provide broad diversifications we had to be compliant with every countries regulation, and trust me, that’s really hard. Few companies in this industry already tried this idea but failed just because of legal barriers and I’m proud to say, that we were able to achieve it.
Early adopters of EVOEstate are high net-worth individuals, P2P and sophisticated investors. Our general target customers are both retail and sophisticated investors, business people and upper-middle-class people. Our main focus is Western and Northern Europe.
What are the main challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming them?
Our main challenge was explained in the fourth answer.
How are you funded? Do you seek extra funding?
We have self-funded EVOEstate up until this point. At the moment we are not seeking extra funding, we are laser-focused towards clients and partners and funding business from revenue.
Please introduce your founders, your core team and your broader team?
My Co-Founder/CIO Audrius Višniauskas, is a serial entrepreneur, counting 2 exits, angel investor in companies like Revolut and Enevo and P2P Property investor.
We have a brilliant CTO Volodimyr Gizny, who has long experience taking leading development roles in multiple internet companies.
To help us overcome legal challenges we have a legal advisory network of international law firms in 3 countries.
How has business been so far? Could you share some numbers to illustrate this (users, sales, etc)?
At first we had some technical challenges at first, that slowed us down a bit, but on the other hand, in that period of time were able to find large clients and kick off private version, completed the financing of 4 projects valued over 800 thousand Euros in total.
At this period of time, we have more clients/investors- capital than we have investment deals- for this reason, we had to close down the registration, to give priority to our first clients. We are working very hard to have a larger deal-flow and in approximately a month we’ll allow first 100 investors from the waiting list join our marketplace. With an expected 3 Million Euros, monthly deal flows to participate in.
Future plans, ambitions? Simply speaking – what’s next?
In the future, our vision is clear: when someone would think of words: P2P property or diversification we want people to think about EVOEstate. But for now our main priority is to develop a larger deal flow that we would allow more investors to join the marketplace and we’ll stick to internal rules of EVOEstate:
1. Never loose clients money.
2. Remember the 2nd rule.
Thank you for your answers!