Our Q&A series is an opportunity for our European team, headed up by Dilan Omari-Clark to discuss all things PropTech, Start-ups, and Career with different founders from across the continent. Each week we will ask PropTech innovators burning questions and quiz them about their product, we hope you find it insightful and enjoy getting to know the founders as much as we have.
This week we have been in touch with Thomas Reynaud, CEO and Founder at Garantme.
Garantme is about building innovative and accessible insurance products for real estate professionals. Through their passionate teams and optimized processes, they equip their partners with the tools to use and distribute their products with ease and peace of mind.
Emile, my cofounder and I were both confronted with painful renting experiences. On my side when I move to London in 2016, I realized how enduring the whole process was to build your rental application folder and make it accepted while managing the transfer of all your contracts from one address to another. On his side, he was confronted with the pain we are currently solving: being selected as a tenant while your profile does not fit the broker or the landlord criteria.
At this time we built a strong conviction: if tenants are victims of the markets dysfunction, landlords and brokers also suffer from it because they don’t have the tools to provide the right experience.
So the way we saw the job was: let’s build the tools, which will empower real estate brokers to provide the right experience to tenants and landlords.
I have been the company’s CEO from the start but my role has evolved a lot. As we bootstrapped the company during the first 18 months, we were both very operational. I then focused on building the operational processes to enable our scale. Now that our operations team is structured with team leads, managers and a head of operations, I am the Garantme’s head of Sales and CFO. Both jobs are open for recruitees, so that I can focus on the company’s strategy and relationship with investors.
We were really pragmatic for a start: we had an initial idea, to build a tool, which would make it possible to e-apply to apartments. We wanted to build the digital application form and deploy it across the market. Our biggest challenge was to find who would pay for it so we decided to meet real estate brokers, landlords and tenants and sell our solution. No one would buy… but brokers would tell us that if we certified the tenant’s application and guaranteed their rent, they would use our service. So we decided to create an insurance product that enables agents to rent to any tenant whatever their professional situation.
The biggest challenge that PropTech is facing and that we are trying to solve is the value chain integration. So many startups have popped-up in the last few years and each of them is tackling a small part of the value chain, so that if a real estate player is ready to digitize their operations, they have to talk to dozens of startup and integrate their solutions or APIs. What they need is 2 or 3 players, whose offers can cover the whole value chain for them.
Therefore we have chosen to integrate features which now make it possible for real estate brokers to have only one provider for all steps before the lease signature.
We have had a huge growth, 2x every year to reach €400 k MRR in Dec. 2021 and we plan to 2x again in 2022 to reach €800 k MRR at the end of the year.
PropTech was born 7 years ago, so 2022 is a moment of truth: is PropTech a dream or reality? Can new players really disrupt the incumbents’ operations? After 7 years, the market must have reached a certain level of maturity, and a lot of startups have now reached series B or C: are they performing well and will succeed in the next level or will they close down.
I have a B2B vision of the market… so I will give a B2B advice. The real estate industry is all about high toplines but low margins. It is a really good opportunity to create new markets that do not exist yet. On each line of real estate players’ P&L, a point of incremental margin can represent billions of euros. You can create a market by finding the solution, which optimizes the operations of your client.
LMRE are specialist PropTech recruiters, if you need help growing your business or making any key hires please get in touch via the form below!
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