5Q PropTech Interview – Florent Danset Founder and CEO at Alte

5Q PropTech Interview – Florent Danset Founder and CEO at Alte

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and what brings you to where you are today?

I started my career in the private equity sector having worked in the real estate investment divisions of two global private equity firms, Blackstone and Partners Group.

My entrepreneurial spirit was ignited there.

I had the opportunity to build and participate in the growth of new real estate business units and to witness the continuous growth of these two entrepreneurial companies.

I gathered valuable experience and investment track record in two established groups before flying on my own and launching Alte thanks to the early strategic and financial support of Pau Sabria, Jose de Cabo and Luis Sanz – co-founders of Olapic, an innovative digital marketing company – as well as AO PropTech.

I am an endurance sports person and I love challenges.

Similarly, Alte combines both the excitement of solving complex investment problems while enduring intense work challenges.

I get reminded everyday that starting a company is a marathon and not a sprint.

2. Why did you start Alte and what is the company’s mission?

At Alte, we are building an online marketplace where all investors can select the most attractive private real estate investment themes carefully vetted and managed by our team.

We launched Alte after witnessing increasing investor demand for a more direct and flexible access than the one typically offered by the large private equity groups.

Access to institutional quality real estate investments has historically been the privilege of a few large investors with significant capital and human resources.

We believe that the private equity model can be improved by integrating technology to make it more efficient and accessible. Alte stands for an Alternative model.

Alte’s mission is to provide access for all to value-add investing in private real estate markets.

We are here to bring the investor barriers to entry down to invest in institutional quality private equity real estate. We do this by leveraging and integrating technology in all our processes.

3. Why the Alte model over traditional private market models?

The private equity market offers tremendous value for investors but it is still very difficult to access given the opacity and large equity tickets required to invest in the space.

We are here to offer investors a tailored access to curated market opportunities that best fit their risk/return requirements.

We have kept the rigorous analysis and underwriting process of a traditional private equity asset manager by selecting our highest conviction thematic sectors while leveraging technology to make it accessible to a broader set of investors.

4. How has COVID-19 impacted strategic investment priorities?

We were lucky to enter the crisis with no legacy investments. We have remained undistracted to find the best and most actionable opportunities in a new and changing environment.

During this transition period and while patiently waiting for prices to readjust, we shifted focus from pure value-add opportunities to more stabilized, income-producing real estate opportunities.

We realized investors still had a strong appetite for secured yield, especially in a low yielding and volatile market environment, and closed a Eur 50m+ office building in Amsterdam at the end of summer 2020.

5. If you had one piece of advice for an entrepreneur starting out in the FinTech and PropTech industry, what would it be? 

Choose your partners, team members as well as financial and strategic investors carefully by making sure they are aligned with your vision, values and culture.

I am grateful for the hard work, critical thinking and collaboration brought by every team member and co-founding partners.

You will need more than financial support to find the solutions to your problems.

You will certainly increase your “luck” by surrounding yourself with the best brains and supportive partners you can get.

This is a marathon, not a sprint; you can travel fast alone but you will go far together.

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