Discover more from Yet Another Startup
Ruffo - Foreign real estate transactions made easy
Purchase foreign real estate without international travel or dealing with foreign agencies
I discover a new startup every week and share it with you. This week’s featured startup is Ruffo. Subscribe to get each and every issue.
What it does: Ruffo simplifies the process of submitting foreign transaction documents by giving users the chance to sign and notarize such documents online via their laptop, computer, or smartphone. For instance, if an individual wants to purchase real estate abroad, they can forgo traveling internationally or procuring the services of a foreign attorney and use Ruffo's platform instead. Ruffo will generate the necessary documents, connect the user with a notary, and obtain the proper government certifications. It will ensure that the user signs and sends in legally valid documents so they can acquire their desired property.
How it started: Nelson Muñoz, Noe Branagan, and Luis Pellerano are Latin American immigrants who bonded over their shared experience of buying and selling property overseas. All three were well aware of the problems that arose during the buying and selling process, including paying for flights to sign relevant forms, dealing with intermediary bureaucracy, and dissecting complicated international payment policies. To solve these problems and make
the cross-border transaction process flow more smoothly, they launched Ruffo. Before starting the company, Muñoz was an associate at the venture capital organization DVx Ventures as well as a researcher at the MIT Office of Innovation. Branagan was an engineering manager at the financial services company Nubank, and Pellerano was an associate attorney at the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
How it works: Ruffo is a digital platform that makes cross-border transactions remote. It is ideal for people who want to buy or sell property abroad. The platform serves as an all-in-one for those who do not want to go through the hassle of flying internationally or utilizing a consulate. It generates the documents required to complete the transaction. It also provides remote notarization services via video-conferencing and e-signature features. The notarization process on Ruffo is quick and secure. First, users will review and sign their required documents. Then, they will verify their identity by uploading identification pictures and responding to questions about their personal history. They must get 80% of the questions correct to move on to the final stage. The final stage involves meeting virtually with a notary who will ultimately sign and place a digital seal on the required documents.
Why it's interesting: This company has tremendous potential. In the aftermath of the pandemic, many people are seeking remote avenues in both their personal and professional lives. More and more people are working online, and a growing amount of people are purchasing items such as food and clothing online. It is fair to say that a critical mass of the U.S. will not want to fly to another country just to sign some documents. They would not want to go through the process of flying because many countries have enacted vaccination requirements or travel restrictions. Ruffo provides individuals an efficient and effective way to buy and sell property abroad. The company could grow exponentially in the years to come since many Millenials and Gen Zs prefer online interactions over in-person ones according to their social interactions.