The corona crisis affects start-ups in very different ways. The impact ranges from a sharp drop in sales to unexpectedly rapid growth. Realbot Engineering is clearly on the winning end. "The lockdown was the best thing that could have happened to us", says Alexandros Tyropolis, Co-Founder and CEO, "what would have taken years previously has now happened within weeks".
The Zurich-based start-up has benefited above all from the greater openness towards digital solutions. This openness is crucial to the team's success, as they want to use robots in an industry that is conservative anyway and where the use of robots is an absolute novelty.
Given this challenge it is amazing to see what the Proptech start-up has achieved. In 2018 the founders started with a vague idea. In spring 2019 they launched the first viewing robot, today real estate companies like BVK or Espace Real Estate are on the client list. Wincasa and Livit are testing the robot.
Tyropolis sees the benefits of their solution as the most important factor for success. "Our solution enables our customers to boost effieciency, gather unknown real-time user data and be among the innovative pioneers on the market," explains the CEO. What's more, the robot is also well received by prospective tenants and buyers. More than 4000 people have already visited an apartment or house in this way.
However, the experience of the founder has also contributed to the rapid success. Tyropolis has already done his apprenticeship in a real estate company and founded his first start-up in this branch after his studies. On the one hand he learned how complex and laborious the letting and sales process in real-estate is today. This finally led to the idea of the viewing robot. On the other hand Tyropolis already has a network among potential customers. "This has helped build the business," says the founder.
Up to now, the founding team, which consists of the CEO, as well as a hardware and a software expert, has financed the business from its own resources. "It was important to me that we were able to test the market without external pressure," says Tyropolis. Now that the test has been successfully completed, the team is looking for smart money.
"We have a lot of good results indicating that we are doing well," says the CEO. On this basis, they now want to raise CHF 3.5 million with a pre-money valuation of CHF 14 million. The money will be used to scale up the company and to grow internationally. The potential is huge. In a thorough market research, the team has not found a single direct competitor worldwide.