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A European PropTech View with Yasmina Darveniza, Round Hill Ventures

7.3.22

Welcome back to ‘A European PropTech View, by Dilan Omari-Clark’ our Q&A focused on European PropTech’s.

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 Yasmina Darveniza, Vice President at Round Hill Ventures.

Yasmina brings extensive business, tech and real estate expertise to Round Hill Ventures – previously a co-founder of a gaming startup along with experience in real estate investment and operations, and advising FTSE 100 companies as a technology consultant. She holds an MBA from London Business School and law degrees from Australia.

Yasmina is a strong supporter of female entrepreneurship and is passionate about increasing the level of diversity in the tech sector. As part of her proactive involvement, she created the VC Lead Ladies event series to encourage VCs to connect, learn and exchange insights.

 

Which VC are you representing?

Round Hill Ventures is a pan-European PropTech venture capital firm investing in early-stage technology startups reshaping our built environment.

 

Tell me more about your VC

Round Hill Ventures (‘RHV’) spun out of a global real estate investment, development and asset management firm called Round Hill Capital with 320 people and 16 offices worldwide, so we can provide more than just capital. Our institutional real estate LPs have an extensive global portfolio of real estate assets, giving us the ability to help support our portfolio companies and scale across different geographies and verticals.

We have invested in 18 companies and 2 accelerators, with portfolio companies such as:

– Casafari: Europe’s largest independent real estate network connecting more than 15,000 real estate professionals to over 95 million property listed – powered by AI;
– Spacemaker AI: AI technology that discovers the smartest ways to maximize the value of any building site (acquired by Autodesk for $240m);
– Plentific: the only end-to-end marketplace SaaS property management platform that empowers landlords and property managers to launch and manage their own fully flexible contractor solution.

 

What are your plans for 2022?

RHV’s main points for this year are: making 5-6 new investments into industry-defining startups, continuing to support our portfolio companies in their expansion plans, and continuing to build on our PropTech white paper series which helps informs our LPs and ecosystem partners.

Beyond these, we are interested in diving deeper into climate tech companies within the built environment, better understanding sustainability metrics, and helping our LPs get on track to achieve net-zero targets for 2050.

 

We get a lot of candidates that are looking to get into the PropTech VC space. What advice would you have for these candidates?
1. Decide on what you’re looking for: It’s important to understand what type of fund you want to work at. Some aspects to explore include: early-stage vs late-stage, generalist vs specialist, and established vs emerging funds.
2. Act like a VC: A lot of what VCs do revolve around being involved in the startup community, creating a network, sourcing interesting startups, and analysing investment opportunities. It should be much easier to find a job if you can talk about the above points, present companies that are raising and within the investment thesis of the VC you are talking to, and describe the variables you would analyse for each case.

3. Network: VC recruiting is particularly unstructured and opaque, with most roles not being advertised. Despite being a competitive industry, most VCs are quite friendly and personable, so don’t be afraid to reach out to people with similar backgrounds to you and ask them how they broken into VC. I would strongly recommend connecting with recruiters (such as PER, The Big Search and LMRE) for their insight into open roles, and (if possible) offer to work on an internship to learn the ropes. It’s an industry that respects hustle, so go hustle!

 

What are your top tips in a pitch?
1. Do your research on who we are and what we invest in: Please do not pitch us something that has nothing to do with the built environment, and pretty please do not pitch a real estate business that isn’t centred around technology and scalability!
2. Know your business inside out: As they say — if you can’t explain your business simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Know your relevant metrics (MRR, CAC, LTV, churn, etc) and be upfront about explaining any dips in performance or mistakes you’ve made and what you’ve done to address them.
3. Ask for help: VCs are generally well-connected and passionate about startups. Think about specific actions for them to take or specific introductions you would like them to make.

 

If you are a founder in a technology startup disrupting the built environment please reach out to info@roundhill.ventures – we are always happy to chat!

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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