The ideal number of co-founders for a startup has been a subject of much debate. Many successful companies have been built by co-founders with complementary skills, including Apple, eBay, and Twitter. Bringing together the acumen of two (or more) entrepreneurs, co-founders combine their talents to increase the probability of success of their company.
“Entrepreneurial journeys are extremely challenging and lonely, especially in the early days, and it helps a great deal to have like-minded and equally passionate co-founders with whom you can work closely. The likelihood of a co-founding team succeeding is also greater than the likelihood of a single founder if the founders have complementary skill sets and experiences,” said Rafael Valdivia, Managing Partner at LAB Ventures.
Today, we're highlighting one of our portfolio companies led by two seasoned PropTech entrepreneurs who are working together to disrupt the traditional way of investing in real estate. Tom de Lucy and Sofia Gancedo are the founders of Bricksave, the real estate crowdfunding platform designed to make investing in developed market properties simple, accessible and instant, for investors from emerging markets. Together, Tom and Sofia have built a company that serves over two-thousand users worldwide; offering access to secure, asset-backed investments in stabilized residential properties located in the US and Europe.
A real estate entrepreneur with extensive technology experience, Tom saw in Bricksave the perfect marriage of the two, and an ideal way to make investment opportunities available to more people. As the founder of two previous start-ups, and an investor in Latin American property and tech firms, Tom was quickly convinced that real estate crowdfunding would revolutionize investing opportunities for Latin Americans by providing stable returns, low investment costs, and streamlined processes in an asset class previously inaccessible for most small investors. After first meeting Sofia in Buenos Aires and hearing her idea, Tom joined full time as the founding CEO.
A native of Buenos Aires, Sofia Gancedo managed the investor relations for Real Estate projects in Uruguay, Miami, and New York at Costa Partners before starting Bricksave. Her responsibilities also included managing relationships with banks and investment funds. She had the idea for Bricksave back in 2015 but struggled to find traction with investors. “I had worked in the real estate sector for a long time and noticed that the entry barriers to investing were very high, except for people with a lot of capital. To scale and grow, I was convinced that I had to think beyond our borders, so I thought about going to an investment group, but it was not easy. When I first sent the project in search of financing, I did not receive the response I expected,” Gancedo said.
After joining forces, the two were able to successfully capture the attention of a large European investor who gave them their initial seed capital, before raising the venture round in 2019 where LAB Ventures participated.
Tom’s background in finance and fundraising were critical in getting the company off the ground, but he credits Sofia as the driving force behind their growth: “Combining the extensive background and knowledge of our COO Sofia Gancedo has created such a solid platform for growth, and it’s my belief that this level of expertise has been integral to the company’s progress, especially when it comes to investor experience and satisfaction.”
LAB Ventures works strategically with early stage PropTech startups and investors from the Real Estate and Construction industries providing them access to capital, corporate development, customers, innovation and outsized returns through venture capital investments.