Meet Rendity, the First European Real Estate Crowdinvesting Platform [Interview]
Rendity is a Viennese fintech startup that offers the first real estate investment depot in Europe and thus provides investors with a low capital investment opportunities in the real estate market. Rendity was founded in August 2015. Fast forward later after the first Viennese project listed on Rendity was successfully funded, Rendity decided to venture the step to Berlin. Magazine MN caught up with Tobias Leodolter, Rendity co-founder and CMO, to talk about how Rendity got started, how it works and its expansion to Germany.
Magazine MN: How did the idea of creating Rendity occur? How did you come up with a name?
Tobias: Most of our friends recently graduated and started earning their first paychecks. Like our friends we were frustrated with current investment opportunities: stocks are very volatile, most funds charge high management fees and if you want to invest in the most popular asset class - real estate - you usually need a lot of starting capital. This motivated us to create an investment opportunity that lets people invest in real estate with little capital and earn attractive returns.
Magazine MN: What is the mission of Rendity?
Tobias: Rendity’s mission is to enable real estate investments for everyone.
Magazine MN: What makes Rendity a game changer in its field?
Tobias: Rendity sees itself not only as an investment platform for real estate, but rather as a real estate investment depot. Hence investors can compile a portfolio from different real estate projects that corresponds to their investment style. The investor-wallet is an essential part of this concept. It‘s a personal bank account that allows the investors to always have an overview and control over his/her invested capital.
Magazine MN: In less than 2 weeks after Rendity was founded, over 100 000 have been invested in the first real estate project in Vienna. What are the selection criteria or requirements for the projects that are to be listed on Rendity?
Tobias: We know that the careful selection of real estate projects from the right developers is very important to the success of our undertaking. Our focus is to display all data and facts about each project and its developer in a clear and comprehensible manner. Together with our advisory board we thoroughly screen each developer’s track record, management team and financial background. If the developer matches our high standards, then we go on to review the specific project on different factors (location, type of real estate asset, financial, legal and technical due diligence). Only then is it possible to make an educated investment decision without any surprises later on.
Magazine MN: In your opinion, what helps projects to increase the chances of being successfully funded?
Tobias: The quality of the project itself is a prerequisite, a basic requirement that will only get you started. To further increase the chances of a successful funding you need to concentrate on the marketing and sales efforts.
Magazine MN: Who can invest in real estate projects listed on Rendity? How does this process look like and what are the benefits for investors?
Tobias: Any person within the European Union is eligible to invest in real estate projects via rendity.com. Therefore we offer our entire content in both German and English. Additionally, we are one of the few platforms that also offer legal entities (such as corporations and funds) to use and invest on Rendity.
Magazine MN: In December 2015, Rendity made an announcement about its expansion to Germany. Can you tell us more about it?
Tobias: From the very beginning our aim was to establish the Rendity brand in various markets in Europe. After the successful market entry in Austria it seemed like a logical step for Rendity to expand to Germany. Berlin is a very attractive and active real estate market and therefore suits our concept.
Magazine MN: How big is the team of Rendity?
Tobias: Currently we are a team of 4 people with very different skill sets working on "all-things-rendity". From platform development to legal work, from marketing and sales to numbers crunching: we try to do most of the tasks required running our business in-house. This saves us money and really helps to stay close to the customer but also to our own product.
Magazine MN: On the platform you mentioned that as a team you don’t have an office in the traditional sense and virtually you can work from anywhere. Do you use any apps/tools to communicate with each other and stay productive? What are they?
Tobias: As most startups in an early stage we figured to keep our expenses low by doing most of our work from home or in co-working spaces if it’s actually necessary to meet face-to-face. To keep connected on the go we use Dropbox as our main data storage and Slack which is a fantastic tool for communication. A couple of weeks ago we stumbled upon Asana that helps us streamline and arrange projects.
Magazine MN: How can our readers get in touch with you?
Tobias Leodolter was interviewed by Natalie Myhalnytska
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