My guests today are Florian Hagenbuch and Mate Pencz, co-founders of Loft. Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Loft is a digital platform designed to bring Latin American real estate into the e-commerce age. The 3-year-old startup scaled to over $150mm in annualized revenue in 2020 and is on track for multiples higher this year. We dive into the market opportunity in Brazilian real estate and how that differs from the US market, the value proposition for iBuying across the US and Latin America ecosystems, and touch on the potential for Loft to expand from real estate into adjacent services such as mortgages. Florian and Mate are second-time founders and have some great lessons shared throughout the episode. Please enjoy my conversation with Florian and Mate.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:52] - [First question] - Why Latin America currently presents such a unique opportunity for modern technology companies
[00:04:38] - What the market looked like when they started Loft
[00:07:20] - How they approached gathering data that wasn’t available or accessible in order to develop the company infrastructure
[00:09:39] - How the process of buying a home used to be in São Paulo versus today
[00:12:19] - What Loft’s hard work unlocks for consumers and home buyers
[00:14:06] - What iBuying feels like writ large and more specifically in real estate
[00:18:07] - Analysis of an iBuying real estate transaction from start to finish
[00:20:09] - The role machine learning plays in property valuation and building that feature
[00:22:50] - Defining their business model and being a fulfillment center aggregator
[00:24:47] - Notable characteristics of the iBuying market in the United States
[00:27:00] - How they think about the competitive advantage extensions of Loft
[00:29:53] - Exciting opportunities for the FinTech broadly in Latin America
[00:32:47] - Deciding on what it is they want to tackle next as they grow the company
[00:34:13] - Thinking about the value proposition to customers and how they market it
[00:35:50] - Lessons learned about building businesses early on that were applied to Loft
[00:40:12] - What led them to finding their early product-market fit
[00:42:48] - Calibrating and defining their ambitions for Loft out of the gate
[00:45:05] - Important and interesting trends in the business world today writ large
[00:48:43] - Further lessons and key challenges around building and scaling Loft
[00:52:24] - The kindest things that anyone has ever done for them