Stephen Adeyemo is helping university students – and everyone in need – find a home that can suit their needs and budget with ease using artificial intelligence and immersive technology.
Resavation is a platform that seeks to give young professionals a stress-free rental experience.
At 17, Adeyemo had become a social entrepreneur with the drive to provide solutions to some of the challenges he observed as a teenager growing up in southwest Nigeria. The final-year student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, knows how challenging it can be for Nigerian students to secure a comfortable abode while pursuing academic degrees.
The sorry state of the hostels in Nigerian public universities is well-documented, and there are several reports of student exploitation when they seek apartments outside the campus. Add the frequent strike actions that keep students out of school for extended periods; millions of Naira are wasted on rent that is not used.
In 2018, Stephen was a victim of this exploitation while trying to rent a property. The product and graphic designer determined to use his skills to provide a solution so that youngsters in his situation would not suffer the same fate.
This has birthed his current product, Resavation, an AI proptech company that allows young professionals to find verified properties online, schedule and inspect property virtually and build their credit score once their rent is paid.
Resavation incorporates AI live chat and video call features so that landlords and prospective tenants can communicate virtually, Augmented Reality, 3D virtual, and video call inspection saves its users the burden of travelling to examine properties.
Renters can also build their credit score by securing a rental loan to pay their rent upfront while they pay it back in instalments.
“Our vision is to make property renting in Nigeria as seamless and easy as possible. We want to make sure an average Nigerian can rent a property in less than 48 hours if all the boxes are ticked by all parties involved.”
In this episode of Founders Spotlight, we spoke to Stephen Adeyemo, and he shares his thoughts, inspirations, and ideas behind Resavation and what the platform is doing to solve the problem of property renting and leasing for individuals, mostly students.
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Resavation’s journey so far
The proptech industry in Nigeria and possibly in Africa is one with few players in it. The industry has also not received much recognition and attention compared to all other sectors in the tech ecosystem.
According to Stephen, Resavation was birthed in 2018 as an idea but the startup was incorporated in December 2021
“Since that time, about a year and 3 months, we have been bootstrapping. We have also been able to create our MVP and app, which is currently on the app store. We have live users and house agents on our platform. Although we don’t have paying customers yet, but we have metrics like a 30% growth rate and an 8% churn rate.”
Also, based on the scalability of the product, the startup has been able to attract users from all around the world, from the U.S., South Africa, Nigeria and India, who have downloaded the app.
“We are putting our strong base in Ife, because we want to cover Ife first and because the agents on our platform are there. This doesn’t limit the fact that our app can be used from anywhere in the world.”Stephen Adeyemo
Plans for Partnership
There is no doubt that housing continues to be one of the most vital components and indicators of a good standard of living for citizens of a country. In Nigeria, the housing deficit crisis in Nigeria has worsened in recent times, with the statistics showing a deficit of at least 17.0 million.
According to a World Bank report in 2018, Nigeria requires about 700,000 housing units annually over 20 years to accommodate the rising population. Much is needed from the government and private sector to cover that deficit. However, there has been little funding coming from both ends, or to proptech. In fact, as of Q1 of 2022, the volume of investment in proptech in Nigeria totalled just 1.5 million U.S. dollars.
“We currently do not have any partners. However, are looking at partnering and doing more publicity. We need more people to partner with us and help us in terms of publicity. We need angel investors to come in with the funding, as we already have the product that is scalable.”
“We also look forward to partnering with real estate agents out there. With the new products that we are looking at launching soon, especially the rent financing, we are also looking at partnering with financial institutions, who could give out credits to tenant users”, Stephen added.
Stephen disclosed that although the platform has not started accepting payments, “people are willing to use Resavation to start paying for the apartments they inspect.” However, plans are underway to fix payment gateways and infrastructures,
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Stephen Adeyemo’s inspiration
Everybody needs inspiration to do what they do, whether providing solutions to identifiable problems or merely doing something that sustains one’s living. In this regard, Adeyemo has also found that “mojo’ that inspires him to do what he is currently doing.
“I believe in capitalism and social entrepreneurship. The issue of renting an apartment and paying rent has been prolonged for as long as I can remember. People want to pay their rent at the latest possible time.
Based on my research, we have 10 million household properties, and people want to move in and renew rents. Young professionals find it difficult to pay exorbitant fees, which can be life and career-threatening, seeing that housing is the top three basic amenities for anyone to live a good life. So solving this problem together with my team inspires me.”
The Resavation team is currently made up of two co-founders and two other members. The two co-founders are developers dealing with the backend of the platform while others are designers dealing with the front end.
What do you do for fun?
Stephen’s ideal way of relaxation and fun is “staying indoors playing video games, sleeping and reading a lot.” However, he has not done much of that lately, reading blogs and surfing Linkedin is what he does to relax these days.
In creating a balance of everything he does, he says he loves owning his space and personal moments while having a routine.
“I have a schedule of how I want my day to go. Asides from working for the company, I read books, design and surf the internet.”Stephen Adeyemo
What a successful 2023 would look like for Stephen Adeyemo
Founders, techies, entrepreneurs, and everyone have set targets, milestones and goals they want to achieve in 2023. These goals help to give a perspective and assessment of the success of any company going by the metrics set. For Stephen, this is not different.
“I want the business to grow and scale, I want the company to be in two more African countries aside from Nigeria say Ghana and Kenya. There is a target of having not less than 10k active paying customers. I also have a target of having an annual recurring revenue of nothing less than $100k. This together would mean success for me.”Stephen Adeyemo
Stephen Adeyemo’s inspiration
For Stephen, so many founders inspire him. However, one notable founder inspiring him to be people-oriented is Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings and the UBA Group.
Another person is Aliko Dangote, the chairman of Dangote group. I like his style of entrepreneurship. He is a multi-divergent person and has a wide array of solutions he is working with just like me.”
You can also check out the Resavation Demo below:
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