Ask Me Anything with Ofo Ezeugwu, Founder & CEO of WhoseYourLandlord

  • You successfully raised a Seed round, got recurring revenue, and some interesting pilots in the pipeline. But, behind the scenes there are often a lot of challenges and hurdles you have to overcome for each of those achievements. Looking back, what have been a couple of your biggest challenges over the past year to arrive at where you are now?
  • Did you have to go through any layoffs, personnel decisions, deferring payments, etc? How did you cope with that and your own mental health during those tough situations?
  • What is your team most proud of? What are your favorite accomplishments from the recent past, and what have you learned from with those?
  • Let’s go into a bit more detail about your particular product and business. As a marketplace, you need to have renters posting feedback and landlords tapping into that feedback; what have been your strategies for acquisition on both fronts?
  • Is there anything that you have changed your mind on while building your company this year, especially with the impact Covid has had in the housing market?
  • We mentioned this at the start, but you’ve successfully fundraised for WYL; could you share your do’s and don’ts with other founders listening in. What have you found are the best ways to go about getting introductions and capturing the attention of investors?
  1. First, we prepare founders to fundraise
  2. We connect investors to high-caliber entrepreneurs
  3. And, we contribute to the development of an ecosystem where all entrepreneurs can flourish.

Everyone my name is Ofo, CEO and founder of Whose Your Landlord, otherwise known as WYL.co. Our entire focus is on empowering, informing the rental community.

We do that by providing landlord reviews and housing educational content for residents. And then simply simply put, just take that information, shake it up, make it look even sharper and nicer and more insightful. And we provide that to the home providers so that they can make more data driven capital improvement decisions, and increase the retention rates and the happiness of their residents overall in their buildings.

The fundraising journey has not been easy in the slightest. I think there’s been a few factors that play into it. I know we’re here in black history month, I won’t just default only to how we look. Although I know that plays a huge role in it, and that’s what you know, Black Operator Ventures is also here to solve.

But, we’ll get a chance today to talk a little bit about our journey and how we figured it out and got to this point, so we can now scale.

The second part of that challenge, though, was the money piece. While we could acknowledge those things were real, it takes money to shift anything. It takes money to build anything. And I think we found ourselves in a position towards the spring and the summer of last year where money was getting really tight.

As a company, it was like we’re going to start having conversations with people like hey, look, you know, it’s going to be a rocky winter you’re like mentally right. But what to that point earlier about, like, you know, Support Network. That’s what we’ve created in the last few years.

And when I see that, I’d be like, you don’t have to be the best presenter if your business is the best for slides and gets it done. That’s the reality. For me, one of the most fascinating things in the last six months or so pitching investors is rarely did we use our investor deck, like it rarely came up.

Once we actually figured out our business, it became like here’s our customers and who we’re talking to. Here’s how we’re planning on ramping up. Here’s our demo. So you can feel it and believe it too. We’ll send a deck just for support. That was reality. We spent so much time walking investors through this investment deck, only to find that once you figured out your business like that matters, I want to hold it to make sure I know when I can show my team and talk to them internally about how we might invest in this company.

But you know, I think the culture and the team are like we’re human first, right? What we talk about with our platform is true in the company. So you know, we’re all remote, we’ve all seen more of the inside of each other’s homes than we probably should have seen in the last two years. Like everyone deserves a break. Everyone deserves some grace.

Because of that mindset, I’m always happy, and I enjoy what I do every day with my work. I get up ready to tackle the next thing. I have my little whiteboard here with all my daily tasks on it. I love crossing them out at the end of the day. So that works for me. That’s not what everybody wants, and nothing has been really interesting and powerful through the Google Black Founders Fund.

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