Our Q&A series is an opportunity for our Southern European team, headed by Giulio Di Pietrantonio to discuss all things PropTech, Start-ups, and Career with different founders from across the region. 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 Giovanni Buono, CEO and Co-Founder at Quota.
Quota provides transparency, speed, and protection to the residential rental market. Quota solutions reduce the financial barrier for young tenants, improve access to rental housing, establish a relationship of transparency and trust between tenant and landlord, and provide landlords with protection tools, and financial and insurance products, at affordable prices. Quota developed a platform to Improve the rental processes of large landlords, asset managers, housing rental portals, and real estate agencies with digital tools built on big data and artificial intelligence technologies.
In doing so, they are also achieving three social impact goals:
1) reducing the inequality as we are providing access to housing under the same conditions to people from different social and economic conditions significantly easing the financial burden on women and immigrants
2) by optimizing the management cost of rent and fostering transparency we are promoting landlords and professionals to increase the housing stocks, therefore, causing also a reduction in rent prices
3) they are working with public administrations to introduce best practices and technology that help private contractors to initiate build-to-rent projects at affordable prices and with a higher percentage of social housing for less fortunate groups in the society
I have always worked with ”Tech”. I got a degree in Telecom Engineering and always worked with innovation projects. I was fortunate to see and live through the internet and mobile revolution, and was involved with it as an executive and investor. In the middle of my career I’ve been approached by a colleague of mine who enlightened me about FinTech and PropTech, and how they were shaping a new world and disrupting those industries, so I had to jump into this new innovation wave and joined my first PropTech project that was a real estate crowdfunding platform.
18th months ago during an entrepreneurship gathering, I met Jesus, my business partner, and discussed how many processes in the rental market were behind in Spain and southern Europe in general compared with the UK and US markets and how no one has developed a compelling solution to satisfy the need of tenants, landlords and RE professionals at the same time.
Meanwhile, scale could be an issue in later stages of our project and will force us to go international to become a sustainable project. At the moment for sure granularity of asset portfolio forces us to work with mid and small real estate players so we have found creative ways of making our solution known to the market.
We are looking with interest at different geographies. Italy is one interesting market for the commonality and certain delay compared to the Spanish real estate market, whilst some countries in South America could become the next chapter as language and some socio-demographic data could support a model like the one Quota promotes.
It is definitely growing and has become more diverse with the recent arrival of venture debt solutions (see extensionfund.com or BBVA announcing its 250M€ Venture debt vehicle).
I feel that there is still a lot of work to do in terms of fostering the culture of venture investing on one side and increasing the tickets for each stage on the other side. An entrepreneur has obviously taken care of the funding strategy and found the right financing partners but cannot worry about the “cents”. Instead, he should be focusing on how to build, adapt and grow business. Also, there is a certain concentration of deals in the past years and I think that, as it seems to be happening, the arrival of more international investors at an earlier stage is beneficial and will boost the growing talent that represents the entrepreneurial seed of Spain.
Considering that the PropTech sector in Spain ranks second in the world in terms of the level of investment received (856.3 million euros from June 2020 to July 2021), I think we are one generation apart from a huge wave of transformation of the habits in both the end-users (namely tenants and landlords) and professionals, from realtors to asset managers. Convergence of technologies like blockchain and AI for optimizing, controlling, and streamlining the supply chain in construction or value-added operations will provide efficiencies never seen before. Also, using VR/AR will be a common practice, integration of services like financial and insurance via fintech, payments, open banking, and contextual finance will make any activity easy as ordering something on Amazon. Finally, this will bring also a shift in the labour force needed in real estate companies which will build, partner, merge or buy tech teams.
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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