Martin Schrimpff is currently the founder and CEO of Kocomo, a Proptech that is enabling co-ownership of vacation properties around the world. Kocomo was launched this year and recently announced a funding round of 56 mm USD. Martin is a successful serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience founding, scaling, and advising startups. His first startup was PayU, a payment service provider focused on growth markets that scaled across 16 countries with revenues over $300 million USD. It was eventually sold to Naspers (Prosus) for over 1 Billion USD. He had the honor of being selected Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2010 and is an active Angel investor with over 25 tech investments in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up in Bogota Colombia to a German father and a British mother. I am the youngest of 3 brothers. Then when I was 17 I flew to the UK to finalize my school and eventually did a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Edinburgh University.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I started selling chocolates at school and then eventually set up my first company after University. It was a software development company called Sirius.
How did you come up with Kocomo? What makes it different from other co-ownership models?
This is the first time I have started a company in which I am solving my own pain point. I am married and have 3 children ages 10, 9, and 7. I have always thought of the idea of having a home on the beach to go back there with my family, but the idea of being tied down to a property that I was only going to use a few weeks a year and then have to worry about all the maintenance and the costs, was not appealing. So the idea of a fully managed Co-ownership model of nice vacation properties made complete sense to me.
Why is Kocomo different from traditional fractional models?
Kocomo is different from the traditional Fractional models that have previously existed for two reasons:
1- Transparency: Kocomo charges 12.5% on top of the property purchase price to each Co-owner. In traditional Fractional sales, developers do not disclose their margin and in most cases, it is 80 to 100% of the property price, which means the owner will most likely lose money if they sell it a year or two later.
2- Marketplace: We are creating a marketplace for co-owners to be able to sell their interests in an easier manner. Traditional Fractional sales do not offer help for sellers selling their interest in a secondary market.
Where are Kocomo’s homes currently located?
Kocomo currently operates in Mexico and is in the process of opening Miami. We currently have properties in places like Tulum, Todo Santos, Los Cabos and the Puerto Vallarta Area and Sayulita. We focus on areas that are easily accessible and have direct flights for Americans and Canadians.
Close to Sayulita, in a place called Punta Sayulita we are building a Tech community. Many Tech entrepreneurs and Tech executives are buying in this amazing community that has its private beach club and is set in stunning lush vegetation. https://www.kocomo.com/homes/casa-paraiso.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
Building any company requires a tremendous amount of resilience and persistence. It is a roller coaster with many highs and lows. Make sure you never quit, no matter how bad the lows are, as eventually, you will come out of it.