The Prop-Tech start-up, Spleet, has now unveiled plans to expand into Ghana and other viable African markets such as Kenya and Rwanda in the New Year. The Prop-Tech outfit is targeting its new expansions to accommodate growth as well as exploit the more pliant conditions in other economies of Africa. More importantly, Spleet is transitioning to an African-Esque AirBnB of sorts.
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Spleet seems to be following a path that other Prop-Tech start-ups have followed in spite of the pandemic that has held the world hostage since the past year. Only last year, Nnamdi Chineme’s Nigeria Property Centre expanded into Ghana’s property space.
Nigeria’s property space is especially tenuous to operate in and I reckon the many problems that spur entrepreneurial verve in the field are the very same factors that have made scaling so difficult for Prop-Tech companies on the same scale as the guys in fintech and even Health-Tech.
Spleet is not the only start-up looking to change the real estate market via tech. Rent SmallSmall is another company that comes to mind. Many times, real estate tech runs into issues because supply and demand are just not right. There is not a lot of good listings and where there are, only a small section of the market can actually afford.
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Exploiting a monthly rent model has been the focus for some of them like Spleet but even that has not found favour with either potential tenants or landlords (who prefer to circumvent inflation and other eventualities by collect a year’s rent upfront).
Spleet has found favour like many others in its field in the short-let market. The fast returns and its appeal to most segments of the middle class across different scenarios make it the fastest route to profitability for most Prop-Tech start-ups.
They have had an especially good time in that area and that explains the new drive to expand in that direction. According to Disrupt Africa, Spleet “has seen positive uptake of its renter’s product, and currently has a 96 per cent retention rate with its long-stay spaces, and an average stay of 11 months”. Interestingly, the company only completed its pre-seed funding round in 2019 after more than 18 months of bootstrapping. It raised $265,000.
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