Having the spirit to create something new to allow small companies to skyrocket their growth in the real estate industry was the prime aim for Shaily Srivastava.
Being passionate about technology, she always visualizes that by harnessing the power of new ones, she can revolutionize the real estate industry. Being a passionate lady, she keeps herself updated with the new technologies in the industry and loves to collaborate them with the company strategies to achieve new heights.
Advent of Acreage
In 2018 there were not many security token offering solutions in the market. She felt that there is immense potential in Blockchain technology to create a democratized investment model which would bring equal opportunity of investment to everyone.
She adds, “My business partner (also my MBA colleague) comes from the real estate background who used to invest in real estate but had trouble expanding his business due to the existing traditional financial model. This created the concept of Acreage.”
Roadblocks along the way
She feels that the biggest roadblock was convincing people about this newer way of the investment process and the benefits that it would bring. Not many were willing to switch from the traditional way of investing in real estate and about how big of a game-changer this would be.
The next biggest challenge for the team was raising capital for the company. She adds, “Traditional angel investors and venture capitalists did not quite see the potential of this new idea and were reluctant in investing in Acreage. We realized that the only way to bring this to reality was by bootstrapping the company, and we are proud to say that we are doing it to date.”
From these challenges, she learned that before selling the solution, it’s crucial to understand the pain points of the target consumers and the problems that they face every day. She adds, “We interviewed a lot of people to potential customers and then created a value proposition for them to show how Acreage would be able to help them solve those problems.”
Vamping up the real estate industry with technology
Shaily believes that the recent growth in Proptech companies and investments in the technology sector of real estate indicates that it is time for a revolution where processes get digitized, leaner and faster. Innovations are happening across the industry, and it is now time for disruption and adoption of democratization.
She adds, “Acreage platform democratizes private real estate investment space. Acreage platform is designed to allow anyone and everyone to invest in industry-grade investment opportunities and grow their hard-earned money. It enables a fully regulated end-to-end onboarding of both investors and issuers (small to medium scale businesses raising capital on our platform) and creates a direct P2P relationship removing multiple stakeholders in between hence a win-win situation for both parties. Our platform is being designed in a way that will introduce the liquidity that never existed before for this traditional illiquid asset class. ”
She firmly believes that that staying ahead of the curve keeps her team in the game. She adds, “Many large firms do not realize how important it is to invest in Research and Development. It ensures that you are aware of what is happening now in the market and helps you to bring better products or services to your customers. We do understand the change is inevitable, and hence rather than running away from it, we want to stay in the culture of continuous improvement.”
Life as CEO of Acreage
Being the CEO and Co-founder of the company, she steers the way for the company to achieve her vision. She directly works with all departments to make sure that the operations are running smoothly.
She tries to cultivate a positive environment for the whole team and engages with everyone to keep a steady inflow of new ideas.
She adds, “We are a family who speaks every day and shares both professional and personal moments. Acreage is a flat organization where team members have direct access to each other. We have a culture to support each other and work towards the result rather than a 9-5 culture. We take responsibility of our deliverables, and KPI makes sure we deliver in time and of good quality. When required, we all get together and solve the problems.”
Achieving balance at the professional and personal front
Being a software engineer and an MBA, Shaily always had a passion for collaborating technology with the management industry. She feels that new trending technology can unlock new opportunities in the field and can benefit everyone.
She adds, “I believe my greatest achievement has been to create a network of like-minded people who believe in me and support me in my journey.”
She feels blessed to have a great family and believes that her family support plays a crucial role in making her successful. She states, “My husband supported me both financially and emotionally while also managing two toddlers at home when I was mostly running around for my MBA and business activities. I always make sure to take out time for family, irrespective of the pressure of business, and hopefully, that has taught me better management skills. My kids are my stress buster; spending some playtime with them every day gives me the energy to go on.”
Future roadmap for Acreage
Focusing on her vision to create an easy and secure way of investing in private real estate, so everyone gets equal access to opportunities in the market, she adds that they have to cross a long way to achieve many things.
She believes that the company was successful in having a sound start and wants to establish its operations in Canada and then grow them to some international markets.
She adds, “We also have plans to bring in more offerings for the consumers. We are extremely excited for what we are building and believe that consumers will really like it, and it will change the traditional processes for good.”