MagicPlan is the post PC floor plan creation tool. With MagicPlan, you can easily and quickly creates floor plans & work estimates. For an experienced user, it takes an average of 30 seconds per room, i.e. a 20 room house can be mapped in 10 min. MagicPlan measures rooms and draws floor plans just by taking pictures. Then you can add objects, annotations, photos and attributes to generate reports or complete estimates.
Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?
5 founders who previously created 5 companies out of which 3 were sold and 1 IPO. Background of the founders : Video game industry, Board game industry, Software analytics.
How are you being financed?
– Founders put some money in.
– We also got some VCs funds.
– We received some help from the Canadian government (CNRC – PARI).
– We generate revenues and since a year and a half company is breakeven.
What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
Resistance to change. New technologies adoption in non tech hungy industries such as real estate and home renovation.
How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
– It is difficult to recruit good developers.
– We use traditional approaches: job offers on the web, network, head hunters, etc.
Who is your biggest competition?
Maybe AutoCAD ? But we do not really compete head to head. Our market is real estate agents and craftsmen. We targeted the ones who were not used to produce floorplans such as real estate agents or craftsmen. We did not target architects who were already producing plans and were more concerned about accuracy than ease of use.
How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?
Our 2 core markets are:
– Renovation: with a floor plan, craftsmen can produce a reliable estimate very quickly. Once you have all the dimensions, you can price painting, flooring, etc. and communicate properly with your client.
– Real estate: Floor plans are one of the most requested element by home buyers or lessees. Every year, millions of houses are sold based on a floor plan, none based on pictures. Real estate listings propose pictures but few floor plans.
Both markets are huge, the challenge is adoption. MagicPlan has been downloaded by 12 millions users. Millions of plans have been created with MagicPlan and our floor plan database is the world largest. Our biggest user has produced more than 15,000 floor plans with MagicPlan.
The key element to succeed is to deliver a product that is very easy to use and is fast. So our focus is product development. We are not obsessed by the number of features and the precision, we prefer to focus on ease of use and speed.
– Client is a UK based business doing design and renovation to improve energy efficiency of facilities.
– The company recently won a customer contract which involved renovating close to 500 locations.
– The company would typically deploy 9 surveyors to the 500 sites, taking accurate measurements which they note down on graph paper that is later typed into CAD software (existing blueprints or commercial drawings are usually inconsistent, out-dated or otherwise unreliable).
– The entire process would take 6 months.
– Often measurements would contain mistakes, requiring at times multiple follow up visits to the sites.
– Using the same labor force equipped with MagicPlan, the client cut the surveying time from 182 days to 39 days – a savings of 80% in time and labor cost while dramatically improving accuracy.
– When using MagicPlan on this project, the 500 sites required zero follow up visits.
What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.
There is room to disrupt traditional markets not hungry for tech.