Published on April 06, 2020 by:
Can you pitch us your company?
Arextech was born to fulfill a vision: “We want to transform real estate into a completely digital industry” and in order to do that there are significant obstacles we have to overcome. Instead of tackling all different problems at once, our methodology is to create solutions that provide value to the different stakeholders in the market. The first problem we’ve focused on solving is deal execution in real estate as it is today a fractured, lengthy and expensive process.
To solve this problem, we have created Sympl.deals. Sympl.deals is our cloud-based software that provides the tools real estate professionals need to carry out any deal on a single platform wherever they are. The integration of deal stages and automated collaboration amongst tools provides a shared and unified process with structured and meaningful information.
The realization of the Arextech vision implies creating complementary products to Sympl.deals for all the various stakeholders in the sector. We’ll progressively launch other innovative solutions as we keep on growing and expanding.
What was the context of your fundraising decision?
We needed to raise funds to meet the capital requirements of our product’s creation and development. Our high-quality MVP needed considerable investment to meet the needs of our sophisticated clients tackling complex processes. These resources were allocated to design, user research, and most importantly development. Creating a top-notch product is key for our success in this space. We are trying to modernize a very traditional industry that will only change the way it operates if the professionals that work in it have enough of an incentive to do so. That change in mindset and working methodology goes hand in hand with an extraordinary product that our users feel comfortable using.
To summarize, we raised funds to build a great product for our users.
How did you prepare for your fundraising roadshow?
Most of the time was spent on perfecting our pitch and making sure that we could properly transmit our vision to prospective investors. It didn’t make sense for to bomb all investors in the ecosystem if we weren’t clear about what who we were and what we aspired to do. Our strategy was strictly focused on maximizing our probabilities of success. That took spending our time on 3 main tasks:
- Refining and working on our pitch
- Preparing documents: pitch deck, financials and product descriptions.
- Preparing questions. You have to be prepared to answer any question that may come up, expected or unexpected.
Those were the most important aspects to work on for us, but of course there are a lot of other things to take into account when trying to raise funds such as knowing who you are pitching to, studying their investments and understanding your fit with the investor and of what other value the investor can be to your company (network, expertise or additional resources)
Once started, what was fundraising the roadshow like?
We closed different tickets of investment in a timespan of approximately 6 months. We talked to more than 200 investors and had at least two thirty-minute meetings with most. Imagine how much time we spent on raising funds… We focused on international investors as well as, when possible, investors with experience and presence in the real estate sector.
The best advice I can give you is that in the first round the best you can do is to try to reach everybody in your network. Personal trust is key in getting funding for early startup stages.
What are the main feedbacks (good and bad) you received from investors?
With regards to bad feedback, that I think it’s the most important thing to share here, what we got the most is that our vision seemed too ambitious and that it implied changing how the whole industry works. It all depends on what kind of business you are building and what your long-run goal is, but if you want your business to succeed you better be clear with your investors and tell them what you are going to do with the money. You want investors who truly understand your vision and share it with you.
Best feedback you can get in such an early stage is that your vision makes sense, that the roadmap to get to that vision is coherent and that the team that you have assembled can get you closer to fulfill your vision.
Is there one anecdote you want to share with the community?
There are thousands of anecdotes, but when they are written they become much less fun…
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are considering a fundraising operation?
Knock on every single door. You never know where you can find something valuable for your company and vision. Whether that is (unexpected) valuable opinions, talent for your team, potential clients or investors. What I’ve found is that when you are honest with people and have a “giving first” mentality everybody is willing to help you because they see that you want to help them whenever you can. If knocking on doors is important so is helping others when in need. Every door you open today will bring you opportunities in the future.
Finally, what are the next steps and challenges for your company in the next 18 months?
Growing in Canada, scaling internationally and hopefully by the end of the next 12 months raising our Series A.
Thanks Miguel for sharing!