Serbian City Expert is a startup company that has just entered the portfolio of South Central Ventures, a €40 million worth VC fund. The funding amounts to €700,000 and it represents the second investment made by South Central under their Enterprise Innovation Fund – ENIF, following their recent first investment of €300,000 in the Novi Sad – based DryTools.
City Expert brings innovation to the real-estate market since 2015, when it first introduced novel technologies that immediately attracted end users. The company gained a skyrocketing traction of 900,000 users thanks to their new simplified approach to renting and purchasing real-estate, as reported by Startit.rs. The business model that City Expert introduced in Serbia allows users to make their next apartment purchase or rent without being charged any commission on it. This set the company apart from the competition and resulted in growing their client base up to 35,000 clients in less than two years.
City Expert offers free real-estate advertising on their website, including a call center support active 7 days per week in the period between 8 am and 10 pm, as well as back-office support. For this service, advertisers pay 49% of their first rent, bearing no costs whatsoever prior to any purchase. The second model available includes most of the services mentioned above, with the difference that buyers and sellers get in touch directly without any mediation from the team at City Expert. They pay a monthly fee for this type of advertisement, which is slightly more expensive than the first one.
The team behind the success story of City Experts consists of six young experts: Igor Jović, Milan Todorović, Stefan Stojanović, Boris Prpić, Darko Luković i Darko Krsmanović.
According to the official statement of Igor Jovic, Co-founder of City Expert: “The company started off as a startup, and is still a startup, no matter the success achieved in less than 2 years of operations. The focus of the company is on development of new technologies that simplify the process of lending and renting real estate, and expanding the business in other international capital cities. At first, we as founders had a vision to bootstrap and finance the development and expansion by ourselves from the revenues. However, our fast results made us attractive for investors. South Central Ventures recognized the potential and decided to invest to enable a faster pace of development. Moving quicker and expanding is also part of our vision and we are grateful for the opportunity to cooperate with South Central Ventures on the road to achieving the global vision.”
The immense potential and the fresh approach implemented in a technologically backward industry is what helped the company be recognized as the right target for South Central Ventures, as announced by the fund. They also state that the investment will support the further advancement of City Expert’s services which will aim to create additional value to their customers.