The story of Rockestate starts with...
The initial idea to use data for the (e)valuation of houses took roots in 2014 when Kasper, who started Rockestate in 2017 together with Mathieu and Pietjan, wrote his Master’s thesis on the topic. During the following years we started believing in the potential of such a solution in various industries, and in particular for the financial sector, as this is where we were all working at the time. In the summer of 2017 we took the leap of faith to actively pursue these opportunities and build a product that would help banks & insurance companies better understand their customer’s homes, instantly and remotely.
Can you tell us about your biggest challenges & milestones?
From the very beginning some of our prospects showed a healthy interest and their feedback further confirmed us in the belief that there was a real problem to solve. Despite this early success, it took us two years before the first insurance company was actually using our solution in production. We had underestimated the average time it would take for a bank or insurer to implement our solution. Banks & insurers are often large organizations where many different projects are competing for attention and resources. We continuously improve our solution to make it more plug-and-play but the complex IT infrastructure of our customers will always be somewhat of a challenge.
Where are you today and what are your plans for the future?
Today we have a fully functioning solution for Belgium with multiple paying customers including several large insurance companies, banks, energy providers and a real estate portal. We invest a lot in the development of our solution, to make it more accurate and useful in various applications. By doing so, we can help both existing and future customers to maximize the added value they can get out of the data we offer them.
We have also started to test expanding into a number of other European countries. The problem we are solving is a fairly universal one faced by many banks and insurers all around the world. Our ability to export our solution to another country mainly depends on the availability of certain datasets which happen to become more widely available (in Europe) thanks to a number of European directives.
What is your most important tip or take-away for future innovators?
Things will take time, so be patient.
We live in a world where instant success and dazzling growth seem to have become the norm for start-ups. While there are some overnight success stories, the reality for most (young) companies is that it takes time to build a successful product and business. Bold plans and enthusiasm will get you started; patience will bring you where you want to be.
When starting Rockestate, we also hoped for instant success. We quickly had a first working version of our product with various prospects showing genuine interest. It took us another two years though before getting to the point where multiple customers were actively using it. During this time, we never stopped improving our solution as we were convinced that for many prospects that had shown interest as of the early beginnings, it was not a matter “if” they would start using our solution but “when”. We continue to operate under this assumption by making sure that we are prepared for when a prospect is “ready” to adopt our solution.