A startup of two school friends received USD 10 million from investors who trusted Facebook and SpaceX before anyone else

The founders of Mudafy Franco Forte and Lucas Díaz (Credit: Mudafy Press)

The keyword is proptechor the intersection of the world of properties with technology. In that nobel category, he develops his business Mudafy, an Argentine startup of only three years that was founded by two friends and classmates from high school that has just received an investment of USD 10 million. The disbursement was led by Founders Found, a US venture capital firm well known for having invested before anyone else in giants such as Facebook, SpaceX, Airbnb and Nubank and Kavak in the region.

Founders Fund is run by Peter Thielthe historic Silicon Valley investor famous for giving the check to mark zuckerberg to grow Facebook. Beside Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and others make up the group known as “Paypal mafia” made up of founders, employees and those linked to that digital payment company who became millionaires and became tech investors.

“Our goal is to simplify, digitize and eliminate friction in the process of buying and selling a property in the region. If we succeed we will be great… a unicorn” (Forte)

“It is a great happiness to have investors of that caliber”he told Infobae Franco Forte (32), CEO and co-founder of Mudafy with his friend Lucas Diaz (31).

Forte and Díaz have known each other since high school and studied engineering together at ITBA. Then each one went their own way, one more linked to technology and the other to investment banking and international business, in different companies and projects. “That in the day. At night and overtime, for almost 10 years, we think and develop products for the real estate industry. First a portal management and publication system, basically a CRM, and also website development. We had about 200 clients. The other was a search portal for homes to buy and rent. It was a parallel job that allowed us to get to know the real estate sector in detail”, highlighted the CEO of the company.

Mudafy offices in Argentina.  (Credit: Mudafy)
Mudafy offices in Argentina. (Credit: Mudafy)

“In 2019 it was time: we dropped everything and launched Mudafy,” Forte described. The company, which had already received USD 1.8 million from the US accelerator YCombinator, has operations in Argentina and Mexico – they launched in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic – and 350 employees.

We have been growing at a rate of 20% per month for two years. We do more than 100 transactions per month, with a total volume sold of more than USD 200 million, with a 2% net income for us. We must also add mortgage loans, especially in Mexico, where we offer them as a service chosen by more than 50% of customers who opt for that alternative within the platform. Our goal is to simplify, digitize and eliminate friction in the process of buying and selling a property in the region. If we succeed, we are going to be great… a unicorn”, Forte summed up.

With this financing, in which IDC Ventures also participated, Mudafy wants to generate 500 million dollars in annualized sales by the end of 2022. The investment will be used to continue its expansion in Mexico, continue developing a world-class team and further improve the customization of the buying experience for their clients, from the discovery of the right property on their portal to the signing of the deed, they detailed in a statement.

Peter Thiel, Founders Fund
Peter Thiel, Founders Fund

The local real estate market is very hit, is it going to improve?

— Forte: It is true that the market is at one of the lowest points in its history, but it continues to be sold. If they are in price, the properties are sold. The issue is that the historical prices have changed and many are outdated, those are not for sale. If the price is real, which does not mean it is low at all, it is sold.

It took more than 10 years researching and working for the market until they launched the portal, why?

— Since 2008 many things have happened, we have done a lot in the field, but the focus has always been this: to get to where we are. Are we late? I dont know: since we decided to dedicate ourselves to this 100%, we accelerated very quickly. First you had to understand the market, which is very complex and is crossed by emotions. Since we launched, we have not stopped expanding, and we had the pandemic in the middle. The model was very effective: to improve an industry you don’t have to break it. We are part of the market and today we have 800 alliances with real estate agencies between the two countries, and we generate millions of dollars in sales revenue for them.

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