Tell us about PlotPeer.
PlotPeer is an alternative finance blockchain platform, providing financing to emerging markets in the form of crowdfunding. We work with local property developers to provide unique development investment opportunities into the heart of Africa for diaspora investors and all interested in making a socially impacting contribution to the development of Africa.
Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?
We are excited about the opportunity for growth, scale and connections. We joined the Barclays Black Founder programme in order to partner with like minded businesses, connect with talented individuals and learn about scaling our business fast.
What would be your desired outcome from this programme?
The perfect outcome would be to learn more about business strategy, partner with some similar companies doing amazing things in the space and have an excellent demo day in 12 weeks!
Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?
Dr Dre. His transition from a producer and artist to entrepreneur has been inspiring to me and the constant drive to adapt to stay relevant and keep pushing for more.
What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?
The creation of an alpha platform for our network of private investors to test and provide feedback. This has been a real success for us as we have been working on it for a couple of years.
And your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has been navigating the UK's regulatory landscape with the FCA. We are working to be regulated as an alternative investment fund and to provide a level of trust and transparency to out UK investors. This can be particularly costly and time consuming but we are confident that being FCA regulated will put us on the path to becoming the largest Africa focussed crowdfunding platform.
Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?
We have been privileged to have previously been on the Cambridge Judge Business School Social Innovator which has, and continues to provide assistance from numerous business groups and mentors. We often tap into this network when in doubt or requiring business advice.
What drives you to make your business a success?
Grit. The power of passion and perseverence. I read this book by Angela Duckworth and it really resonated with me in terms of the overriding desire to be successful. This is evidenced in every aspect of my life.
What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?
Do research, understand your market, network. For me knowledge is everything, having a clear understanding of your market segment, the new developments and competitors. Finally, networking is so crucial to have a good support network to bounce ideas and explore partnership opportunities.
Why did you want to start your business?
We wanted to start this business as we wanted to dispel the rhetoric around investing into Africa. A secure, transparent platform was at the top of our agenda as many of the thoughts for African investment are around fraud and unrealistic returns.
On the African side, we wanted to assist with providing local developers a means to finance, around affordable housing units.
What do you do to relax when not working?
I, Cairon, am an avid cyclist, and enjoy going to the gym and playing football. I also enjoy travelling and immersing myself in new cultures.
How has covid made you pivot your business?
Covid has meant that we have spent more time on refining our platform and working on regulation. We unfortunately need to be on the ground to sign some legal documents so haven't been able to travel during COVID.