This is Part 6 of Brazilstrat’s series about the Brazilian Unicorns. Links to the other parts can be found here: “Part 1 – Introduction and Summary”; “Part 2 – Nubank”; “Part 3 – Wildlife Studios”; “Part 4 – iFood”; “Part 5 – Loggi”; “Part 7 – Ebanx”; “Part 8 – Loft”; and “Part 9 – Gympass”.

Brazilstrat is a boutique consulting firm specializing in assisting growth companies with interest in the Brazilian market. Located in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, we work with clients who have a business model we believe stands a good chance of success in Brazil, and who operate in an area where we can add significant value through our own experience and network.

Are you considering a Brazil market entry for your growth company, or do you want to know more about Brazilstrat and our reference projects? Contact us to schedule a call.


QuintoAndar is a digital platform for residential rental properties with 200 thousand monthly property viewings and more than a thousand employees. The company’s value proposition is to remove bureaucracy and lower cost for both landlords and tenants while reducing the time needed to finalize a rental agreement from 40 to 4 days[26]. Brazilian residential property rental is a BRL 200 billion market (around $37 billion) with further upside potential as only 20% of properties are currently being rented in Brazil, e.g. compared to 50% for New York[24].

QuintoAndar has reduced tenants’ fees and administrative costs from 40% to around 16% of one month’s rent by removing the need for guarantor’s signatures and large safety deposits, which have traditionally been required in Brazil. At the same time, landlords using the platform get a BRL 50 thousand guarantee provided by an undisclosed third party[25]. One of QuintoAndar’s investors, Brian Reqhart, who co-founded the Brazilian real estate listing site VivaReal, describes QuintoAndar as a property fintech, depending on algorithms analysing tenants’ credit scores to find matches and to justify guarantees[24].

QuintoAndar charges landlords the first month’s rent for their services in addition to a 5.5% to 8% fee for ongoing management of the rental contract. In addition, the company maintains a marketplace for refurbishment and renovation professionals, and in the beginning of 2019 QuintoAndar started using their data to recommend specific upgrades to landlords with the purpose of minimizing idle time of their properties while maximizing expected rental income[27].

The idea of the startup was born in 2012 where the two “mineiros”, Brazilians from the state of Minas Gerais, Gabriel Braga (CEO) and André Penha (CTO) met at the university of Stanford. Like David Vélez of Nubank, QuintoAndar was a result of pain the founders had felt experiencing the bureaucracy of Brazil – Braga while trying to rent an apartment in São Paulo, and Penha while trying to rent out his own through a traditional broker in Campinas (another large city in the state of São Paulo). After raising a $1.1 million seed-round from Palo Alto, California-based Social Capital and eight individuals in July 2012, the company was founded in 2013 and operational two years later[26]. QuintoAndar came in as the fifth most popular startup to work for in Brazil in a 2019 LinkedIn ranking[39].

Before getting his Stanford MBA, Gabriel Braga studied business at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) with an exchange year at HEC Liège in Belgium. He started a master’s degree in industrial engineering while working at Biominas, a private institution dedicated to supporting biotech businesses in Brazil, but he dropped out halfway through the programme to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity as managing partner at Semeia, the first Brazilian search-fund. Together with two partners, Braga acquired, operated, and turned around a 30-person software company before a short period as Interim Country Manager for AirBnB Brazil, working with international growth[28].

André Penha studied computer engineering and received an MsC in computer science from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), interrupter by an exchange year at INSA Lyon in France combined with an internship at Bosch. As a student he founded Overplay, and eventually sold his company’s mobile games division to TecToy. He went on to manage their game studio in Campinas in the state of São Paulo. Simultaneously, Penha served in various top management positions at Abragames, the Brazilian Association of Game Development Companies. His Stanford MBA was combined with an internship at Sony, where he reported to the VP and General Manager for Latin America about gaming strategy in the region[29]</sup].

QuintoAndar achieved unicorn status in September 2019 when raising a $250 million Series D round led by SoftBank. A summary of the company’s six financing rounds, capturing a total of $335.3 million, is given below[23].

  1. Seed in August 2012: $1.1 million from Palo Alto, California-based Social Capital; and eight individuals including co-founders and CEOs of other Brazilian startups and investors from Rio de Janeiro-based Gávea Angels and Flame Ventures.
  2. Series A in February 2016: $7 million from Buenos Aires and São Paulo-based Kaszek Ventures (lead); São Paulo-based GE32 Capital; and Brian Requarth, founder of Brazilian real estate marketplace VivaReal.
  3. Non-Equity Assistance in November 2016: $50 thousand through Google Launchpad Accelerator.
  4. Series B in December 2016: $12.6 million from San Diego, California-based Qualcomm Ventures; and Cambridge, UK-based Acacia Capital Partners.
  5. Series C in November 2018: $70 million (BRL 250 million) from Qualcomm Ventures; New York-based General Atlantic; Alexandria, Virginia-based QED Investors; Kaszek Ventures; and New York-based Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb.
  6. Series D in September 2019: $250 million from SoftBank (lead); Kaszek Ventures; General Atlantic; and San Francisco-based Dragoneer Investment Group.