Last November, GoPlaceIt launched its beta version in Chile with a slogan clearly outlining its proposal: “Don’t look for properties, let them find you.”
The GoPlaceIt real estate property search platform connects potential buyers and renters with properties located in the areas that interest them most. Users designate specific zones, define their filters, and receive real-time e-mail notifications when a property fitting their specifications hits the market.
Of course, GoPlaceIt isn’t the only real estate startup competing in the online space in Latin America. Argenprop.com, Twist Inmobiliario and VivaReal Network are also in the mix, among others.
Now, GoPlaceIt has received a boost to make it stand out. The company has closed a Series A funding round of over one million dollars (US$1,090,000 to be exact) Patagon Land, positioning it to get stronger footing not only in Chile but also in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, where it launched in January 2013.
We sat down for an interview with Daniel Ibarra, Co-founder of GoPlaceIt, during which he revealed that the platform was registering 500,000 monthly visits just before the investment, boasting a 30% monthly growth rate and with 160,000 registered users and over 150,000 active properties. See what else he had to say below:
Jóse Martin: What has the company’s investment trajectory been?
Daniel Ibarra: In November 2012, we received US$40,000 via CORFO program Start-Up Chile. Then in January, Oskar Hjertonsson y Daniel Undurraga (the founders of Clan Descuento, acquired by Groupon in 2010) invested US$100,000. Now, in September, we landed this investment from Patagon Land.
JM: Specifically, what was the need behind, and how did you arrive at, this latest investment?
DI: The principal necessity was to find funds to grow quickly and achieve a solid position in Latin America. We contacted many types of investors; however, the key to our success has been our lawyers, Philippi, who in their recently-created startup area made the match between us and the right people to help us raise money.
JM: What will you use the resources for?
DI: We’ll be utilizing them in two main areas. The first has to do with amplifying our diffusion and accelerating growth. Over the next year, we want to become a relevant actor in the property market on a regional level and also position ourselves as a technological portal in the real estate rubric.
The second consists in growing our team and developing new functionalities. One of our pillars is innovation and continuously improving user experience. We want to be a portal of reference that helps users to make decisions based on quality information using set of tools that render the process fast, optimized and easy.
JM: What do these million dollars mean for the company?
DI: For GoPlaceIt, this investment signifies the validation of the results obtained in the first stage, a sign of a good scenario. We’re generating change in the industry, and that’s been reflected in our growth in users, feedback and the incorporation of new properties. Without a doubt, the investment will be a big push to grow faster and demonstrate that we can be a relevant actor in Latin America. We’re a team with potential, and we believe that this investment will give us a chance to show that.
JM: How are things going in the Chilean market?
DI: Excellent! In just a few months, we’ve been able to position ourselves very well in Chile. We have hundreds of real estate brokers working hand-in-hand with us, including the most relevant players in the country. Chile, as GoPlaceIt’s launch pad, is ahead of the curve in terms of our platform’s penetration. Many users already choose us and have listed us as their preferred portal.
JM: You started looking at other regional markets pretty quickly after your launch. How is expansion work going?
This text has been adapted and translated by Emily Stewart from its original Spanish publication.