Meet Stefania Ponzo, Partner at Pi Labs: Europe’s Most Active PropTech Venture Capital Firm)

Since launching back in 2015, Pi Labs has been at the forefront of transforming the real estate sector through innovative technology solutions with the aim of creating a positive impact on our physical environment for people businesses and communities.

We work with innovators who are transforming our relationship with the built environment and the visionaries in the property industries who want to be part of that change. We currently have a global portfolio of more than 60 companies which we’re aiming to grow to over 100 by 2025; our founders come from across the world, covering more than 30 nationalities between them.

I joined Pi Labs as a partner in March of this year with the exciting task of managing our growing portfolio. In my role, I work closely with our founders to ensure they have the strategic, financial and commercial support to enable them to succeed on a global scale.
 
 
Pi Labs
 

Which areas are Pi Labs’ portfolio companies innovating in?

 
Our portfolio companies address a very diverse array of challenges and opportunities in the physical world, such as the future of work, development of the metaverse, increasing ESG requirements and construction site planning and procurement uncertainty.

The technological solutions they develop are equally broad ranging from digital sustainability measurement tools and virtual reality workplace training to smart construction software and AI technologies to analyse building drawings’ data.
 

 

What are your top tips for tech entrepreneurs hoping to scale their business?

 
Scaling-up requires the right product, people, and process in place. In terms of product, it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to ensure they have achieved product-market fit with their product and initial market, and to be laser focused on the product development – sales – customer feedback loop. People-wise, make sure to invest in employees and build a diverse team at all levels, starting from the board and C-suite. Set a clear vision for your culture and strive to maintain it as you scale.

Streamlined, efficient processes are key to achieving scale and mean the company can maintain quality control and complete things quickly. They keep the company moving forward, providing clarity and alignment to a growing team. As such, establish clear digitised processes, make information readily available from anywhere, and move on from reliance on one-to-one communication for anything important.

Finally, learn the importance of prioritisation and delegation: make the business workable without you. From the start, create a system of leadership that enables delegation and distribution of decision-making throughout the organisation. When founders can focus purely on growth, the company keeps its edge and can continue to innovate.
 

What can we hope to see from Pi Labs in the future?

 
We are planning increased and more structured efforts towards supporting our founders with the most critical challenges they face when scaling a business internationally. This includes hiring talent, strengthening finance functions, building sustainable sales models, and accessing networks of top-rated advisers globally.

Other key areas of focus include leveraging our network of talented founders, ensuring cross-learnings and building a strong alumni network.