If the name Estate Intel rings a bell, it’s probably because it has been around for a while, but without the splendour that inspired admiration among the judges and audience on the evening it was crowned Pitch Storm winner.
Estate Intel used to be a blog merely covering real estate activities in the country. Like the more focal sectors, the real estate showed great promise. In 2014, the real estate industry was the 6th largest sector in Nigeria with a contribution of 8.37% to the GDP, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics.
The years that followed 2014 have been remarkably a busy one for the real estate sector, particularly given that the government has since embarked on numerous housing and construction projects.
It made sense for a young enterprising Dolapo to carry out his full-time job, as a real estate research executive, while running the blog (which is Estate Intel) by the side.
But then, the understanding of the composition and growth of the Nigerian real estate industry was underpinned by bigger problems such as lack of finance, escalating cost of building materials as well as an infrastructural development cost.
The situation continued to relegate housing development (as far as Nigeria is concerned) to the background. Moreso, impeding real estate data collection.
Coupled with feedback from viewers (of the blog) and supporters to scale Estate Intel as it were, Dolapo began to look at the problems more deeply. By 2017, He quit his 9-5 job to focus on a more holistic solution.
“It was a tough journey from 2017 to where we are now because an important thing to note is that I was not a technical person or software developer,” admits Dolapo.
But to have built a technology company that provides news and research for informed data-driven commercial real estate decision is truly remarkable. With the largest cloud-based collection of commercial property data points, Estate Intel now adds the tag of ‘Africa’s Bloomberg terminal for real estate’ to its byline.
So coming into Pitch Storm, there was a high chance Estate Intel would be amongst the favoured finalists. But this meant going against eleven other finalists amongst which there are founders with core technical background as well as great products, enough to lay strong claim to the coveted prize money.
As if aware of this fact himself, Dolapo highlights his previous work experience as vital to the outcome of Pitch Storm and running Estate Intel in general.
“It was a valuable experience,” he says, “I’m glad I still decided to work and not jump right straight into Estate Intel. A lot of the things I do with Estate Intel, and with the team, is stuff that other people have taught me.”
Winning the $10,000 at Pitch Storm has proven that the product not only works but, people are ready to pay for it. With the money, Dolapo says Estate Intel intends to do 10 times the work and grow rapidly.
“The businesses that we’ve gotten are merely organic, we now need to go and let people know who we are and more importantly, that our solution is solving people’s problem in the real estate industry,” he concludes.
Coming Thursday, on the 7th of February, Dolapo alongside Pitch Storm first runner-up, Femi Aiki of Foodlocker, will be pitching to the Lagos Angels Network (LAN). What an interesting entrepreneurial journey it is becoming and we at Techpoint are glad to have shared a part in it.
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Nigerian startups raised $178m from 166 deals in 2018. Find out more when you purchase Techpoint’s Nigerian Startup Funding Report 2018 here.