When we first met Fred, the founder of Brickowner, we could feel his passion and ambitions to be the market leader for property crowdfunding. He had a great idea, highly experienced partners, and a very aggressive plan to grow and fund raise. They were also working with UI/UX and branding agencies. But if they were going to succeed, they desperately needed technology know-how and the right business processes required to set such platform. So they came to Innovify.
We analysed the overall business proposition, identifying the core value of their platform – what it really was that made them different to their competitors in a crowded space. And we found that they needed to define their product, as their lack of technological expertise and product management skills meant they had no details on how their platform actually worked.
Working very closely with Fred, his partners and the agencies, we helped them understand the:
1. Key challenges on their platform
2. FCA regulation requirements
3. Costs of building the actual product
Funding: Round 1
With everyone on board, we defined the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and the overall product roadmap to justify their aggressive fund-raising strategy and valuation growth. If this was going to work, the fund-raising and product had to be aligned to deliver the KPIs, and they had to be regularly updated.
Before we did anything else, we researched the user behavior and analysed the competitors. This research gave us the right direction to pursue with the overall UX and interactions. Working with the UX partner, we first developed the initial prototype and aligned it with their first crowd-funding campaign. This round of funding (on Seedrs) raised £100,000. But we didn’t stop there.
Funding: Round 2
As a company rooted in agile, lean startup territory, we understood the need for quick iterations. So we established a minimal product team to develop the required product. We also put the right collaboration tools in place, so we could establish bi-weekly sprint cycles, along with a weekly review of the progress.
The biggest benefit for Brickowner was that Fred had direct access to the team to discuss any ideas and to keep confusion to a minimum. The weekly review meetings ended up being extended to discuss the prioritized features, define the user-flows and review the estimates to add further value.
This agile approach meant the first version of the Web Platform was launched in less than a month, to help kick-start the second round of funding.
The first release was key for existing and potential new investors to see how Brickowner worked and how it offered something better than their competitors. So we worked very closely with Fred to pitch the platform, establish a suitable valuation and introduce it to our network of investors to build the interest.
As the MVP started to become more and more realised, we turned our focus to define the operational model and go-to-market strategy. Continuing to work closely with the founders, we worked out the KPIs for the platform and recruited suitable partners to deliver those.
Within just four months of raising the first round, Brickowner raised another £100,000 via Seedrs in the second round of funding. We’d helped Brickowner go from an idea to an MVP in the market with supporting operations.
Innovify is now continuing the development of the product and is also one of the members of its advisory board.
The Innovify approach
Do you have a great idea and the passion for making it big? Are you looking for a trusted partner that is willing to go beyond its remit to deliver on your vision?
That’s what we did for Brickowner and many others. And it’s what we’ll do for you. We can provide you not only the product development support but also ongoing partnership and advice on operations, marketing and even help you to raise those vital funds.
Client Services Director