SoftBank Group Corp. was the main investor in a US $ 250 million round of financing by the Brazilian housing platform QuintoAndar, further expanding its exposure in Latin America.
Other investors in the fourth round of financing of QuintoAndar are Dragoneer Investment Group LLC, General Atlantic LLC and Kaszek Ventures, chief executive Gabriel Braga said in a telephone interview.
What is QuintoAndar?
QuintoAndar was created in 2013 to select users in search of apartments and act as guarantor of those with a solid credit history in order to eliminate intermediaries, saving time and money in a country weighed down by bureaucracy and hidden costs. He also acts as a property manager, ensuring that landlords receive rent on time and helping tenants fix problems such as broken faucets.
“We believe that trajectory will continue for several years”, said Braga. “Since we started, there is a continuous change of consumer preference to live in rental properties”.
With this simple approach, QuintoAndar transactions have increased fivefold in the last year, despite a lackluster real estate market performance. The firm says it has grown from three to nine metropolitan areas in the last nine months, and now closes 4,500 new contracts per month. He also tripled his workforce, which currently has more than 1,000 full-time employees.
A fast growth
As QuintoAndar grows, it has begun to offer traditional real estate agencies access to its platform in exchange for a portion of the income from the rental agreements. It is also considering an international expansion in 2020 and, although it has not yet decided the destination, Braga said that other Latin American countries could benefit from the technology and would see greater liquidity in the rental markets.
SoftBank, based in Tokyo, has been looking for new technology companies in the largest economy in Latin America in recent years. In 2017, he invested US $ 100 million in the transport company 99 and leads an investment of US $ 231 million in the Brazilian technology firm Creditas Soluçoes Financeiras Ltda.
Also published on Medium.