By 2017, he was specifically focused on real estate and investments, with a track record of launching several successful products and businesses, typically built from the ground up.
At this time, Anish continued to invest in real estate part-time alongside his two future co-founders. The group quickly became frustrated that there was not a consolidated tool on the marketplace that could help them quickly and efficiently build and manage their diversified portfolios. As they spent more time on their side endeavor, they realized the world was missing a solution. With their combined experience in technology, finance, marketplaces, exchanges, and property investing, they took matters into their own hands.
Investing in property should be as seamless as investing in shares of a publicly traded company. The industry needed a single, unified platform that gave investors a faster and easier way to invest in the global property market. The idea was that Plotify would do all the hard work, researching the right locations and acquiring, financing, tenanting, insuring, and managing properties. They would then deliver a single property in its own convenient legal structure (called a Plot) that allows for simple investing in real estate from wherever you are in the world...within minutes.
Anish approached OAK’S LAB to build their solution from scratch.
In order to create a quick and seamless experience for the user, we needed to build state-of-the-art tech that took the hassle out of property investment. With such a complex flow, we needed to ensure that the end user didn’t have to deal with any overhead. We wanted to create an app that allowed users to create an account, invest in Plots, track their investments, and list their Plots for sale to other investors on the platform with ease.
In addition, the technology needed to go beyond allowing users to invest in property. We needed to build an admin portal that allowed Plotify to manage the entire process of assigning companies to own properties, managing the company ownership structure, and managing the process of allowing users to buy and sell their shares. This also came with the additional challenges of banking integrations and accreditation flows. And everything needed to be 100% aligned with financial regulations on a global scale and pass rigorous technical due diligence.
Before the project kickoff, we needed to align on Anish’s vision, mission, and business goals and ensure our teams were completely in sync, so we hosted an in-person project boot camp with the Plotify team in Prague. During this boot camp, we set up our virtual office, outlined our processes (daily standups and sprint planning), and aligned everyone on the mission, vision, and plan for building the product.
Next, we did a business deep dive. We conducted market research to set the groundwork and see how other apps handle checkout flows and how exchange apps work in general. We particularly researched apps that had simple investing and account creation processes. Additionally, to build a great product, you also need to know your user, so we interviewed real estate investors and created user personas for our target customers to give us insights into what our users’ problems were in order for us to design solutions for them.
From here we formed a product strategy in order to achieve Anish’s business goals. This strategy, along with the project kickoff, included several activities that we use at OAK’S LAB as part of our product development methodology, the OAK’S LAB WAY. Activities we performed at this stage included scope discovery, the creation of epics and user stories, refinement of the scope, estimation, feature prioritization, and construction of a roadmap for the first beta MVP that we wanted to release in order to start receiving user feedback.
Once we understood the strategy and brand archetype, we created visual assets to reflect the direction of the product. We designed and engineered a logo (complete with the London skyline), color palette, typography, and style guide to reflect the visual direction that we created.
All of this led us to create our own simplified process for the seamless experience of property purchasing and selling to allow users from anywhere in the world to invest in properties in the UK and the US. We partnered with a bank, integrating with their system so we could store all the funds and create accounts for our users. We created KYC and AML flows that would ensure legal compliance. And we designed and built Plotify’s first MVP, consisting of a marketing website, mobile application, and administration portal in 2019.
Plotify makes it easy to invest in cash-generating properties from wherever you are in the world within minutes. While currently in private beta, the product already has a global presence with properties in 10 major cities across the US and the UK and investors from the US, UK, UAE, Thailand, and Singapore. The average total closing time per US property with Plotify is 10 minutes, compared to an average of 52 days if an investor goes the traditional market route. Additionally, every Plot price comes with a 1% transactional fee & closing cost with no further fees attached.
While Anish raised funds, Plotify underwent technical due diligence on the product. It passed both legal and technical due diligence from investors with flying colors. To date, Plotify has raised $12.8M in funding. We look forward to seeing Plotify expand their presence across multiple locations and continue to provide an excellent service for their global clients, transforming the real estate investment industry for all future investors.
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