Spotahome, a startup co-founded by IE Law alumni, adquires Erasmusu and establishes the first European Proptech holding company
Spotahome co-founder and CEO Alejandro Artacho continues to expand and position the Madrid-based startup as the go-to resource for mid to long-term accommodations: after raising €13.6 million in Series A funding late last year, the "proptech company" has made its first acquisition, leading to the establishment of the first European proptech holding company
The acquisition of Erasmusu, an international student community, will add up to 70,000+ more properties to Spotahome´s rental inventory, and allow access to what co-founder and CEO Alejandro Artacho says is “the largest network of Erasmus students in Europe”.
The newly-formed Spotahome Group — the first PropTech holding which points to more acquisitions in the not-so-distant future — now offers more than 115,000 flats, houses, rooms and student residences in 450 cities across 65 countries. Artacho told TechCrunch that Spotahome o has a much broader user base now with 0.5m active users and 3m visits per month, whilst the new combined entity employs over 235 staff.
The founder of the startup, who has recently been awarded a CEO Today Europe Awards 2018, says that the company aims to solve the problem of how to find mid to long-term accommodation online, including negating in-person viewing for the tenant. Key to this is the startup’s insistence that all accommodation is vetted in-person by members of the Spotahome team. These “Home checkers” visit every property to create accompanying audio-visual material and to verify the listing.
Late last year, Spotahome closed €13.6 million in Series A backing, bringing the total raised to €20.7 million since the ‘proptech’ company was founded in 2014. The IE Law School alumn, who gave his first entrepreneurial steps at IE´s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, said that the injection of capital will be used by the ‘proptech’ company for further expansion in the countries it already operates in, and for new product development as it looks to digitise more of the real estate experience, including new services for both tenants and landlords.
The long list of investors in Spotahome include Passion Capital, Seaya Ventures, Howzat Partners, Samaipata Ventures, Arthur Kosten, Nordic Makers, Gate 93, Mexico Ventures, Apostolos Apostolakis, Javier Etxebeste, Charlotte Street Capital, among others. The array of investors include ties to Just Eat, Booking.com, Zendesk, and Ticketbis.
Spotahome won South Summit 2016, a leading event that connects the most innovative entrepreneurs with the most important investors in the world.
On an event organized by IE Law School at South Summit 2017, Alejandro Artacho discussed with Alejandro Touriño, professor and director of our legal tech programmes, and Macarena Plaza Vela, Head of International Programmes and Innovation at the School, how IE Law School is reinventing legal education and training XXI century professionals, inspiring them to lead change in the sector (and the world). In this context, Alejandro Artacho expressed that the global legal education, an international outlook, the entrepreneurial mindset and the unique business approach he received at IE is important in his everyday professional activity. “The entrepreneurial and business mindset is highly necessary for the changing legal industry”, said Artacho.
As expected, one of the challenges in the real estate market is related to legislation, and in order to scale and be international, Spotahome had to deal with local regulations. The solution: a model based on contacting both parties and charging a commission for that service. Then, both parties sign the contract on their own terms.