Campaign Success: EstateGuru
EstateGuru is a leading Pan-European P2P property investment platform. The company is currently live on Seedrs and has raised over €600k from nearly 800 investors. We spoke with Head of Marketing and Communication, Piret Reinson to hear their equity crowdfunding success story.
What attracted EstateGuru to equity crowdfunding?
We decided to start preparing for our A-round last summer, and the plan also included the equity crowdfunding campaign. We are representing this business model as a company and truly believe in it, so it’s only natural that we would also crowdfund and, in doing so, showcase the power of the model to the world. EstateGuru is still a young, growing company, and we’ve always been truly effective and responsible in how we operate, to the point where we became profitable sooner than expected. However, we wanted to accelerate our growth, so we felt that NOW is the right time to expand our business model and digital cross-border service across Europe. Our ultimate goal is to become the biggest real estate financing platform in Europe by 2025.
Were there any resources or external support services you used for your Seedrs campaigns?
We used only our own team experts and the competencies of our partners – Seedrs and Speedinvest. We’ve got everything in-house: PR, copywriting, content creation, web development, design. Only for our Seedrs campaign video did we use an external agency, which was produced by Vita Pictura.
What has been the most challenging part of the process?
The most challenging part is all the documentation, presentations, all the materials you need to provide for your potential investors. Taking the message out there is one thing, but the vital part is to get absolutely everyone in your team on the same page so that every word and number in the presentation has someone taking care of it and delivering on the future plans. Being so public with everything is also a bit challenging, meaning this is our business plan, our detailed expansion plans etc. This kind of information used to be a business secret in the past, but of course, I’m very well aware that nowadays information does not have the same value as it used to. Execution and people are the real assets; business plans can be copied but not the people and processes and their passion.
If you could go back, what would you do differently?
Of course, we would have started our Seedrs campaign earlier and not during the Covid-19 crisis. It would have been much safer and easier. But at the same time, it’s somehow a game-changing precedent that our campaign accidentally launched during the crisis. Obviously, we did not plan it that way, as we didn’t know the crisis was coming. We truly believe that our business model is a solution perfectly made for exactly the kind of a new world we are entering. That’s why EstateGuru was created in the first place – to have the business model which is designed to keep going through all times. The current crisis brought on by CoVid-19 will accelerate the inevitable digital transformation of real estate. Agility is a priority now more than ever. Crowdfunding was born as a result of the last major financial crisis and could play an essential role in easing the current situation by helping companies to raise much-needed financing. One of the challenges of this crisis is not an absence of capital per se, but the inability to provide or access funding fast mostly due to execution risk, e.g. face-to-face interactions with bankers, public notaries, etc. Crowdfunding is the best solution to this problem as it can be executed online in a manner which keeps the public safe.
How has the Covid-19 crisis affected your Seedrs campaign?
You can read Piret’s response, along with others in our dedicated Coronavirus post here.
What would be your top crowdfunding tips?
Except for having a well-thought product, it is crucial to prepare your equity crowdfunding campaign well in advance. Making sure that your potential audience is there where you want it to be. Equity crowdfunding is building unusual B2B relations which have to be fostered by online and offline activities.
We hear from the entrepreneurs live on Crowdcube & Seedrs during the Covid-19 crisis to understand how it has affected their campaigns.