Tiko, the Proptech Focused on Buying and Selling Homes in Record Time

Tiko is a Prop Tech providing the fastest and most convenient way of selling a house. Tiko plays a key role in the Spanish market, receiving more than 20% of the properties of the main cities in which it operates, and is expanding to other European cities such as Portugal, where it has recently opened an office.

Tiko’s success is based on its innovative business model, as well as its artificial intelligence technology. Tiko has developed an Automated Valuation Model called TikoAnalytics™, which allows it to calculate accurate offer prices. In order to get a free offer for their property, homeowners fill in a simple form with basic details about their property. With this information, Tiko can calculate a fair market price for the property without seeing it, in just 24 hours.

With a philosophy based on equality, trust, fellowship, excellence, responsibility and freedom, Tiko’s mission is to make the process of selling a property quick and easy thanks to its technology, and people is its best tool to make it possible.

Tell us about yourself

I have always loved business and all that it entails. Before Tiko, I founded Markafoni, the first fashion ecommerce in Turkey which became the first Turkish company to expand internationally and was acquired by Naspers in one of the biggest deals on the Turkish internet. And before that, I used to work for other companies such as Ebay or KMPG for a long time across Europe. I also have invested in around 35 other early stage tech companies and I’m an active Business Angel.

Why Tiko? Because we realized that around half a million people face a long and stressful process to try to sell their house in Spain. On average, it takes 8 months to find a buyer and during this time they must deal with endless visits and administrative procedures. We believe that the real estate sector was in need of something: digitalization. The previous big change in this industry happened almost two decades ago with the irruption of digital house listing sites. Therefore it was the last big market without digitalization so we founded Tiko, to make home’s buying and selling process easier and faster thanks to technology.

Sina Afra, founder and CEO of Tiko

What is the inspiration behind your business?

We knew that selling a property could be hard and one of the most stressful processes in a lifetime. For this reason we founded Tiko, with the aim that anyone who owns a property can sell it whenever they want, without going through a stressful process and knowing from the outset how much they are going to sell it for. An average of 8 months for selling a property looked quite improvable, so we take care of everything to make it happen in just a week if the owner wants to.

We can achieve this thanks to an innovative business model that has already been successfully tested in other countries and our proprietary home valuation technology that allows us to make free competitive purchase offers in just 24 hours. At that time, for example Opendoor started a little bit earlier in the United States, but here in Europe there are much more limitations (e.g. transparency or taxes) that make the process even harder. 

What is your magic sauce?

Tiko is able to reduce the average time of selling a property from 8 months to just a few days thanks to its technology.

One of the things our clients value most, in addition to the speed and transparency of our service, is the attention we give them. It’s not only the idea of the business model what matters, it’s also about execution. We have really made them feel supported and guided throughout the process, and they sell with the confidence of knowing that they have made the right decision for them. I would highlight this reason above others that also distinguish us from other Proptech.

How has the pandemic impacted your company?

The coronavirus has dealt a severe blow to the Spanish economy. Although the Spanish real estate sector has been clearly affected by it,the need for digitalisation in our sector has been highlighted. In this scenario, Tiko was at an advantage position as a technology company with a track record of several years behind. This allowed us to continue with most of our activity, we were still receiving requests, making offers for properties and even growing our team to attend to the increase of the demand we had.

I would venture to say that, thanks to the digitalisation of our business model, Tiko has emerged stronger from the pandemic, positioning itself as the digital alternative for those who want to sell or buy a home at this difficult time.

Where do you see your company going in 5 years?

Despite the current situation caused by covid-19, Tiko has doubled its turnover, increased its workforce, and started its international expansion with an office in Portugal. Our intention is to continue expanding to other national and international regions and become a Proptech of reference in Europe.

Also, a few months ago we received a round of 65 million dollars for our Series A that will be used to boost our proprietary valuation algorithm based on Big Data among others.

What has been your biggest setback so far?

We have recently raised a $65 million financing round which, as well as being a benefit to Tiko, is a challenge that we need to take advantage of in order to grow the business. Thanks to this financing we can hire new skilled staff to cover the growing workload, buy more properties to satisfy the demand of Spanish, and now Portuguese, consumers…

What has been your biggest win so far?

I firmly believe that the most important part in every business is a good execution, bringing everything together and making it work, but it needs focus and time. To accomplish that the company must have a qualified team, able to do that and to drive it to success, and that is what we have at Tiko.

In fact, to recognise the team’s effort, we want to involve them in the company. European start-ups who have VSOPs, only have them for some management and board positions. Tiko has gone beyond this by including everyone in this programme, becoming the first Spanish tech company to implement this.

What is the next big challenge for your business?

Our big goal is to maintain the growth of the company and become a Proptech of reference around the world.

We want to keep growing as we have been doing so far, continue with our international expansion strategy and, at the same time, continue to expand our areas of operation at a national level.

One of the most important factors that make Tiko possible and thanks to which the company is succeeding in the real estate world is its technology. For this reason, we are continuously working to improve it.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Although our main clients are home buyers and sellers, we also work with agencies and real estate agents. One of our short-term goals is to make these agents aware of the benefits of working with Tiko; by partnering with us, their customers can receive a purchase offer in just 24 hours thanks to our technology and, in return, Tiko benefits from this agreement by expanding its reach through its partner companies.

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