What is the biggest opportunity for proptech founders? How should they think about competition, strategic investment versus top-tier VC firms and how to build their board? What about navigating regulation?
We sat down last week with Brendan Wallace, co-founder and general manager of Fifth Wall, and Hippo CEO Assaf Wand for an episode of Extra Crunch Live to discuss all of the above.
In the meantime, dive into the wide-ranging conversation we had with Wallace and Wand. You can find the full video, including the EC Live pitch-off, below.
Investing in the board
The first step in running a useful and beneficial board is determining who should be on that board, and that starts with the first round of capital investment and carries on forever.
One of the strategic benefits of Fifth Wall as an investor, according to Wallace, is that the firm was built specifically with strategic LPs in the real estate realm, allowing the firm to connect portfolio companies with massive incumbent players in the industry. Incumbents get access to new tools and software, portfolio companies get big customers, and Fifth Wall gets to reap the benefits of both. It’s a rare win-win-win.
We asked Wand about how he chose his investors, and how to weigh the value of a top-tier VC firm and a strategic angel investor, for example.
He explained that there is no right answer to a question like that, but it should always be thoroughly discussed by the team. One of the benefits of having a top-tier VC firm on board is that it has a signaling effect, helping you to recruit early team members and open doors.