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Creating a better real estate experience - Interview with Antonios Fiorakis, Founder of Protio - PropTech

"Although Protio is aimed at homeowners, our main customers are investors. The residential real estate asset class is the largest in any economy in the world, but it is also highly fragmented and impossible to penetrate. Our mission is to provide investors with a new way to invest in residential real estate, helping local communities of owners and residents as well as brokers."

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Protio is raising a €1.5 million oversubscribed seed round to scale its end-to-end PropTech ecosystem for real estate transactions, with a portion of the round earmarked for SeedBlink investors. The experienced team is led by founder and CEO Antonios Fiorakis, a second-time founder with one exit and more than 10 years of experience in technology, marketplaces and venture building. We caught up with Antonios to learn more about how this business idea came to be and what his vision is. Enjoy!

What is the story behind Protio? How did you come up with the idea?

It all started with my grandmother. As I was growing up, she taught me the importance of having a roof over my head. My family, like most other families, were homeowners. So when those homes ended up in my hands many decades later, I got to see firsthand how inefficient and frustrating it is to sell real estate. In a world where everything happens quickly and online, real estate transactions are still an archaic process. I also experienced how difficult it is to renovate an old property into a new one, but I also learned how much demand there is for ordinary homes. And from all these first-hand experiences, the idea behind Protio was gradually born.

Tell us about your previous professional experience. How did it affect the founding and business development of Protio?

The fact that I started a business for the second time is a kind of fuel that helps in every aspect of the business. Starting with the speed of execution to reducing risks, but most importantly shaping Protio's business model as it is today.

With my previous startup, we went from a small town in Greece and a big idea to a company that won many awards including the How To Web Award in Bucharest, 3 rounds of funding from top VCs in the region, and in London and finally the exit. It has been a journey like no other.

There are many similarities between the markets and many of the learnings from my previous startup were applied in Protio.

What problem does Protio solve and how would you say it eases your customers' pain?

Although Protio is aimed at homeowners, our main customers are investors. The residential real estate asset class is the largest in any economy in the world, but it is also highly fragmented and impossible to penetrate. Our mission is to provide investors with a new way to invest in residential real estate, helping local communities of owners and residents as well as brokers.

Are there similar solutions on the market? How are they performing?

Yes, there are similar solutions in the market, but we have taken an approach that improves the business model by making it asset-friendly and marketable. Companies in this sector have already gone public and raised hundreds of millions.

What companies could use your solution? What are your target audiences and what has been the initial response?

In efficient markets like the U.S. or U.K., you can focus as a startup on solving a specific part of the transaction process. In markets like Latin America and CEE, where the entire transaction process is dysfunctional, you need to tackle the whole thing and improve it. Here is how we approach our investment solution.

These are our target customers:

  • homeowners: first and foremost, we offer homeowners the most convenient way to sell their property through our platform. We have already shaken hands with dozens of owners and helped them sell their property with ease.

  • for investors: What makes up our overall value proposition is investors who can invest heavily in the residential real estate asset class. Together with our investors, we have already made great investments and provided them with excellent returns.

  • local communities of residents/renters and local realtors: last but not least, we provide local communities of residents with the modern, affordable, and energy-efficient housing they crave, while helping local realtors find better homes for their clients. By working with the best local real estate agents, we have already offered dozens of families the homes they were looking for.


What's happening in the industry in which you operate? What are the most important trends?

  • Real estate is a huge market with massive inefficiencies and we believe that the way real estate transactions happen will change in the next 10 years.

  • There is a massive mismatch between supply and demand for starter homes.

  • New generations of families want flexibility and mobility in their daily lives.

  • Buildings are the main driver of energy consumption in the EU.


Who are your supporters and how do they support you?

We are pleased to have the support of Neogen Capital, Genesis Ventures, the company VC of one of the largest real estate developers in our region, and more than 20 well-known angel investors, including Lars Rasmussen, the co-founder of Google Maps.

Where do you see Protio in 3-5 years?

Our mission is to rebuild our cities, one flat at a time, by creating a better real estate experience for everyone with our end-to-end Proptech platform. I want to see it come to fruition :)

What makes Protio so special? Why should investors choose you?

We are seizing a huge opportunity, wholeheartedly and with an experienced team already in place, backed by super strong investors, for a mission that has a real impact on our world.

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Learn more about Protio HERE.

By Bianca Iulia Simion

PublishedApril 17, 2022


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