Over 60% of the population in Latin America (270 million+) build their homes without technical assistance. This generates horizontal and unplanned low-density growth and 100% increase in waste materials, which increases CO2 emissions. Additionally, families end up overspending up to 50%, and living in homes with unsafe structures and poor design layouts.
La Firme’s platform provides accessible and affordable architecture and engineering services for low and middle income families to design their home and plan their construction. By integrating existing technologies and creating a digital-first architecture service, La Firme is able to reduce the time invested by professionals and, therefore, reduce its costs for the millions of families self-constructing across Latin America.
The solution has three phases.
- Site Analysis: Leveraging existing databases to automatically assess the lot, and provide a customized quote.
- Design phase: Families share their spatial needs and preferences through the engaging online experience. They choose an architect from pre-filtered options to design their home in three online meetings. Architects receive the previously collected information and templates to work more efficiently.
- Delivery phase: Families receive a complete drawing set, a booklet that translates its technicalities and an incremental growth strategy designed to phase construction according to their financial possibilities.
Three families (a total of 18 people) have been served by La Firme’s pilot so far.
The market segment are low and middle-income families in urban areas of Latin America that have built or planned to build their homes without professional guidance. This is a $55 billion market across the region. The beachhead market is Lima, because the city has one of the highest self-construction percentages in Latin America.
- UTEC Ventures is the Startup Accelerator of the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima, Peru. It is supporting La Firme in the management of the grants it has received, and growth strategies.
- Sandbox (MIT program)
- Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT: La Firme is part of the 2024-2025 cohort.
La Firme seeks:
- Strategic guidance to better structure the seed round it seeks to raise. The objective is to secure funds by the end of 2023.
- Expertise in selecting, negotiating and preparing for its first official fundraising round to grow the business in 2024-2025.
- Expertise in allocating funds strategically to build a future digital platform and develop the product roadmap so it is agile in the years to come.