Hi Marcus, please tell us about the man behind edozo.
I’ve always been fascinated by spotting gaps in traditional markets, I started my career in advertising, but after time in Hong Kong I soon moved on to run my own businesses - largely taking inspiration from fundamental shifts in the world of work and looking at how collaboration can support this.
The entire concept is very interesting. What was the driving force behind it?
The idea behind edozo is very simple. Commercial property has evolved to be a boom and growth industry yet the data sets relied upon by surveyors have remained virtually unchanged and have not caught up with the digitisation, and speed of transactions. My best friend and now business partner is a career chartered surveyor so he’s been both a sounding board and behind the concept from the word go. edozo has been designed to mirror what surveyors have always done, it just uses technology to make workflow smoother and sharing essential comparable evidence easier.
How did the business go from concept to launch?
We initially launched with a trial in some of the UK’s most vibrant markets for commercial property, majoring on Manchester and Leeds. Validation has been a key aspect of launch; the product has been welcomed by the profession and validated by property experts. Today we’re pleased to have non-executive directors from RightMove and Zoopla.
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not running edozo?
My dogs get me out in fresh air in all weathers which is vital when you’re running an early stage business, and can be a great leveller and conversation starter. So, for me it has to be walking in London’s Hyde Park with my dogs.
How did you fund it all in the beginning?
In 2013, I saw changes taking place in the student accommodation market and established the first hotel standard student housekeeping service. It is now a strong turnover business and provided the capital springboard for me to invest time and costs in starting up edozo.
What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business?
Remember it isn’t a dress rehearsal, when you get the opportunity to do something you should move quickly, you might not get a second go. Also, I’d advise to network constantly. An essential part of any business attempting to sell a product or service that makes life easier is to be able to show conviction in your concept. You have to be able to convince people that you are a serious player, so networking is a great way to do this, especially if you are working in an exciting growth area like proptech.
You have created something that makes life so much easier for a lot of people, which is the ideal business model for all businesses. What has been the response from your target audience?
It has been great to see edozo being warmly welcomed as an alternative subscription based comparable sharing and workflow management platform. The big difference with edozo is its collaborative approach; our data is kept fresh as it is drawn from an active community. I’m pleased we have struck a chord and are able to grow organically, with the endorsement and support of our customer base.
What has been the most exciting and the most challenging experience so far?
Establishing the proof of concept and seeing commercial surveyors starting to rely upon edozo to equip themselves with the right data to do their deals; with a relevant product to a target market place you can quickly see organic growth and that is very rewarding. Secondly, I’d say taking any business to external funding is challenging yet immensely rewarding.
What are your top tips on staying motivated?
Visualisation. There are lots of tools that provide you with a central place to keep track of short-term and long-term goals so you can have a roadmap. Personally, I prefer pen and paper as it gives a more connected emotional experience.
How would you define being an entrepreneur?
The ability to recognise and act upon an opportunity. Then you need dogged determination to see it through.
What plans do you have for edozo over the next 12 months?
We want to be the go-to brand for commercial property data across the UK. Integrations with other data providers will be hugely important, and we are also looking closely at opportunities for our concept in international markets.