At Tech City News, we’re always keen to shine a light on those who make up the UK’s thriving technology community. This week, we spoke with Cem Savas, founder of Plentific, a home services marketplace. Savas spoke to us about partnering with large brands such as Zoopla and why he doesn’t believe in having regrets.
Tech vertical: Home services marketplace
Founders: Cem Savas and Emre Kazan
Funding: £3m from Property Investors including Property Innovation Labs
Q: Where did the idea for Plentific come from?
After overseeing the development of 30 properties in London, both myself and my co-founder, Emre Kazan, noticed there was a distinct lack of technology in the home services marketplace. Finding local trade professionals with the right qualifications and project history took so much effort, and it was difficult to find a platform for safe transactions.
We decided to start Plentific, which would connect homeowners with their ideal trade professionals whilst also allowing professionals to manage multiple projects at the same time using integrated communication and payment options.
Q: What’s your background? What were you doing before?
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We both have backgrounds in investment banking and property development. It was only after personally going through the process of finding and booking trade professionals, while developing properties, that we realised there was a gap in the market.
Q: What has been the most challenging part about setting up your company?
The sheer size of our marketplace. With over 400 services and categories to cover every trade, there are endless areas which we are developing and various large partnerships that are allowing us to scale up the platform. We are both developing a marketplace and introducing financial services like the Plentific Guarantee.
Q: What would you say are the biggest misconceptions people have about working in a startup and how do they differ from reality?
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Working at a startup is both fun and challenging. The pressure is high to develop a product that customers will love and use repeatedly over time. Achieving success takes time and money as well as hard work and ambition. You will only get out what you put in. Staying agile and lean is key to success which requires the entire team to be aligned with the vision.
Q: What’s been your proudest moment, so far?
Being able to work with large brands such as Zoopla, the Planning Portal and others. It’s great to see that people believe in our vision and want to be partnered with us. Our home services marketplace is growing significantly each month and we are expanding our feature range to enable homeowners and landlords to manage multiple properties through Plentific.
Q: Have you had any mentors along the way, if so, what have they helped with?
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Not really, but investors and advisors have helped along the way. The vision is ultimately executed by the founders and we get help throughout the journey from our excellent team and network.
Q: Do you have any regrets?
No. I don’t believe in regrets. Life is a constant learning curve. You make mistakes and learn from them.
Q: What’s your top advice for any budding tech entrepreneurs out there looking to partner with larger corporations (ie. Zoopla)?
Building a relationship with large brands takes patience. With time, you will gain a greater understanding and the process will grow easier, however, you should be prepared to go the distance!
Q: What are your predictions for the PropTech industry over the next 12 months?
It’s an exciting time to be where we are; we’ve only just scratched the surface on exploring the PropTech industry and finding what it has to offer. Innovation will play its part and we will likely see many new concepts and ideas over the next year. At Plentific we are continuously approached by large corporates, which is a good sign that PropTech is attracting the interest of strategic players.