A group of five start-ups took their business ideas to the stage at the Radisson Blu to vie for industry advice and the chance to snag a potential investor at the recent PPW Bangkok edition of Pitch Club.
PPW founder Simon Baker, Investment partner of Onza Capital and Mitula founder Gonzalo Ortiz and the CEO of European Internet Ventures’, Malcolm Myers, were the judges at the event, listening as five participants were given six minutes each to pitch their business idea, the problem they were attempting to solve and how much money they required.
FindYourSpace is a technology company who digitises and improves the workflow for real-estate professionals in the south-east Asia region.
CEO Jostein Aksnes says the his business noticed it was difficult for real estate agents to maintain all their listings in one database with many agents trying to setting up a CRM and failing because there are too many configuration options.
Find Your Space Pro focuses on a mobile listing management tool to be used online. Everything is managed for the agent in one space and pushed out to social media channels by the portal. FindYourSpace aims to take away the technical hurdles. It seeks $1 million USD to help it expand regionally with a view to then expand into the south-east region in 2018.
Hoppler’s mission is to connect real estate buyers and sellers with a network of people they can trust.
Both Hoppler and the Hoppler Associates are a network of professional, trustworthy brokers across the Philippines that are connected through a mutual use of technology. The company’s mobile website and app showcases properties that come from qualified brokers, as well as direct owners, within their controlled network.
Hoppler CEO Ramon Ballesca said that poor service for buyers and wrong properties for the right customers is what results in reduced transactions.
Hoppler wants to assemble the best brokers with the best listings and give them great tools to organise and connect them to a network. Seeking USD 360,000 1st phase / USD 900,000 2nd phase (majority, marketing expenses).
Relabelit is a South African company which integrates classifieds portals into media companies and does so seamlessly.They take a portal, add the technology and serve it into the publisher’s domain, ending up with a relabeled portal.
Relabelit CEO David Asher said the company wasn’t seeking money at this stage, just the opportunity to see if the idea is viable.
RentLondonFlat.com is a leader in London’s long-term lettings market. It’s the defacto transactional portal for long term renting in major capitals around the world. Unlike Purplebricks, it focuses on property investors in major cities who require asset management and not self-service landlords. The company’s competitors are high street estate agents.
Rent London Flat Manging Director EuGin Song says the business wants to become a full service provider and is attempting to become a portal for renting in London. They are after £500 funding.
HouGarden.com is the largest property portal that caters to Chinese-speaking property buyers in New Zealand.
Founder Sam Ying says the business model is very successful in New Zealand and has about 180,000 unqiue visitors every month with 50 per cent of the traffic locally from NZ and about 40 per cent from main land China.
They want to extend their model to other countries and target Australia first off. They are looking for 1.5 million USD fund with 10 per cent of their equity which will help them to cover the cost of establishing the business in Australia.
Advice from the judges
Top tips from PPW Pitch Club panellists included:
Define your goals
Malcolm Myers said thinking about a key set of questions before you pitch is integral in defining what it is you’re trying to do.
“How big is the prize you’re after,” Myers asked participants.”What will the business generate and what’s special about what you’re doing that gives you competitive advantage?”
Have a great team
Mitula’s Gonzalo Ortiz said he’s interested in finding out who specifically is involved in a project he wants to invest in.
“The team is 80 per cent of everything,” Ortiz said. “The founders are important.”
Perfect your elevator pitch
Simon Baker said a company should be able to succinctly sum up their idea in an elevator pitch and that the tone should be full of energy, positivity and vibrance.
And what should start-ups who are pitching their business idea absolutely avoid?
“Don’t bullshit,” Myers told applicants. “Investors are good at seeing through hyperbole;don’t downplay the competitive environment that you’re playing in.”