Did you know that about 85% of the people who build their houses in Brazil do not seek support from architects? But what if a digital tool could simplify the entire process, from the definition of the floor plan to the decoration details? That’s the goal of InstaCasa.
InstaCasa’s business model intends to encompass several steps of building a house. The startup has developed an AR (augmented reality) system to provide virtual insight into the actual building plots, allowing customers to preview multiple architectural design options made by the company’s four teams of architects right after the sale and way before the construction process gets greenlighted.
If working in their own home-based on a commissioned architectural project is a reality for the rich, for the lower classes, it is something that’s very far away from their reality. InstaCasa’s model aims precisely at this audience. In the company’s CEO Maurício F. Carrer words, it is the democratization of access to high-quality architecture.
The startup‘s platform maps the location through an advanced filtering system to identify possible architecture limitations, pointing out whether local legislation does not allow a particular characteristic in a house. In addition, the platform also forecasts raw material expenses so that the entire construction process is simplified even before hiring the workforce.
However, Carrer points out that InstaCasa does not participate directly in the construction, at least for the time being. “We do not engage on building houses directly, but our platform is capable of understanding the work to be done and highlighting all construction possibilities. We also provide the possibility to apply filters, such as selecting projects according to the number of bedrooms or bathrooms and, so you can find the ideal project for that building plot,” says the CEO.
Despite not working on the house building, the startup follows the entire process from buying the land to construction; even inputs and raw materials are taken into account: “As we already know which project has already been chosen, we also know all the necessary inputs, updated costs, and expenses, and we can even provide financing suggestions and detailed budgets to make the project viable. We don’t want to work in construction, but we do want to put customers in touch with builders and the broad ecosystem of their region. We want to connect the parts and, in the future, transact materials through the platform. We offer our clients a much more efficient construction management.”
This week, the startup announced an investment of BRL 15 million led by G5 Partners and accompanied by Terracotta Ventures and Gerdau Next Ventures (corporate venture capital fund and startup accelerator of Gerdau Next, Gerdau’s new business division).
A good amount of that money should be used to advance existing technologies and develop new ones. The idea is to allow owners to have in their hands a tool that will enable them to visualize every detail of the house, even before the works start.
Currently present in 12 states, InstaCasa says that more than 50 developers use its platform to present buyers with each’s allotment potential. The startup receives a percentage of the lots it helps to market. That percentage, however, varies from case to case, according to Carrer, who also did not elaborate on how much, on average, the service costs.
In 2021, InstaCasa claims to have helped sell around BRL 300 million in GVS (General Value of Sales of the projects in which it operated). After the investment, the expectation is to transact more than BRL 900 million in 2022 and over BRL 3 billion in 2023.
Shortly, InstaCasa wants to be its own fintech – or, more precisely, a real estate fintech. According to Carrer, InstaCasa intends to be a home that connects professionals and provides analysis of the financing of constructions. In this way, the company would be able to operate not as a mediator but as a combination of different programs in a production chain, giving a Fordist treat to the ecosystem to simplify the process for its clientele and providing users with pre-conceived tools so that they can glimpse how their homes can look like.