We are probably in a minority that will be remembered this way. Founders with the misfortune to launch a business during a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic. It’s no surprise that the question we’ve been asked most since our launch is ‘what’s it been like starting a business during COVID-19'?
Let’s back up a little first. PJ and I worked together at a leading proptech company, as their respective Heads of Global Communications and Business Development, Europe. The tipping point for deciding to launch the business, was a reflection on the number of times we’d been asked a ‘can I pick your brains’ question at an industry event from a fellow proptech firm.
Our realisation then and even more so now, was the willingness and appetite proptech companies have to learn, adapt and try new things. The recent back-to-back Zoom calls with all corners of the world, from Japan to Canada to Finland have validated this — one Head of Marketing went as far as saying ‘the arrival of Bloxspring is a milestone for proptech’. We believe change is good. For some providers, the answer will be a new and refined proposition, for others a change of direction, but the time to reflect and make those changes is now.
“Bad shit is coming. It always is in a startup. The odds of getting from launch to liquidity without some kind of disaster happening are one in a thousand. So don’t get demoralized.”– Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator
As we embrace the ‘new normal’, providers are increasingly wanting to know how can they stay relevant and, still find ways to increase their sales and grow their brands. The first Bloxspring clients (more on that soon), span the spectrum of proptech — from startups at MVP to decade-long veterans, residential to commercial, but all with a burning desire to find the opportunities in this crisis. They’re not alone — one proptech VC we spoke to said ‘we’re ready to write checks, so send interesting companies our way’.
It’s been an exciting and busy few weeks for us. The coming months won’t be easy. If the recent calls have taught us anything, this is a time to be open, adventurous and invest in some new Zoom-friendly outfits.