Get our rare newsletters
Contact GoalEuropeIf you have questions or need a consultation, get in touch.
Polish VC SpeedUp Group invested an undisclosed amount in Starbroker, a Polish service which aims to disrupt the housing-broker industry. This is the second recent investment for SpeedUp, after they announced at the end of last week that they have invested in Fanpoint, a service designed to help people to build Facebook apps. This is not out first time writing about Starbroker, having first covered them last December when their service launched in beta. At the time, the company’s Irish founder David Rice told us that he and co-founder Michal Nowakowski were bootstrapping, but this investment will aid with a planned geographic expansion.
One of the aims of the co-founders of Starbroker is to make the leasing/buying process more transparent and to do so, they offer broker profiles, which will offer those leasing insight into the reputation of those with whom they will be doing business. Another feature of the service is their ‘percentage match’, which allows users to see how well a particular place matches with the criteria that they have established. Finally, the company promotes its ‘no duplicates’ and ‘no ads’ policies as aspects of the service which making visiting the site all the more pleasing for those seeking apartment listings. The service is not only geared towards the apartment-seeker, however, as they offer brokers an equal opportunity to showcase their listings. Brokers need not be a large agency to be able to compete for business on the site. Only clients who have had direct contact with a broker will be able to rate and review that particular broker’s service on the site.
In terms of traction, Rice says that they have 400 active brokers from over 80 active agencies, but expect this figure to increase once they have carried out their planned expansion. The company plans to not only expand its sales team and launch a mobile application, but also to offer its service in cities like Poznan, Wroclaw, Krakow, and Trojmiasto. SpeedUp CEO Bartek Gola says that his firm opted to invest because they believe that the service offers a democratic aspect to the apartment-lending process and because the team behind Starbroker has a deep knowledge of the real-estate market. In addition to this latest invesment in Starbroker, SpeedUp says that they have previously invested with LMS Invest in Home Profit, a service which helps development companies to make their offers more attractive to the final customer by offering a card which allows users to save money during the furnishing of the apartment. Home Profit recently announced a partnership with Home Broker, which is the largest real-estate broker in Poland. For its part, Starbroker faces competition in the rental market from Gratka, Domy, and Craigslist-like service Gumtree.
+44 (020) 3290 3544
vita at goaleurope dot com