Torontonians who are shaking up the tech sector

Torontonians who are shaking up the tech sector

Regan McGee founded Nobul, an online real estate marketplace that helps home buyers and sellers find quality agents

Company HQ: Simcoe and Wellington
Founded: 2016
Employees: 65
Users: 50,000

How it works: “Instead of having to search high and low for a good agent, home buyers and sellers create online profiles, and interested agents come to them with proposals. Like Airbnb and Uber, Nobul runs on customer reviews, so before users commit, they can see what other people are saying about agents.”

Eureka moment: “I was having lunch with a colleague at Union Social back in 2016, and we started talking about new technology in real estate. The conversation snowballed, and I had an epiphany: ‘Why not flip the industry on its head?’ ”

How much you spent initially: “My wife and I put 15 years’ worth of savings into the company. That carried us through our first two years and got us our first office space, a product demo and a mobile app.”

Your turning point: “Some real estate people I respect and admire told me they were blown away by what I was doing, which reinforced that I was on the right track.”

Your big-time backers: “We’ve had several real estate agents and developers—plus five of the biggest brokerage owners in Toronto—invest hedge funds.”

Tech Jargon you use too much: “We spend a lot of time talking about conversion, with the aim to convert everyone who lands on our platform into revenue.”

Tech Jargon you hate: “I’m a real geek, and I love tech jargon. It’s efficient, and anyone in the industry knows what I’m talking about when I use it.”

The best advice you’ve received: “A smart friend told me to treat every dollar we raise like it’s the last dollar we’ll ever raise.”

The worst advice you’ve received: “ ‘Take it slow—iron out the kinks, then grow the business later.’ I want to reach as many people as we can as fast as possible.”

Past life: “I’ve been a real estate agent for most of my life, but my first job was at Future Shop.”

If you weren’t running a start-up: “I’d race yachts in the America’s Cup.”

Coolest thing in your office: “My wife, Rebecca. She’s the investment banker.”

Your go-to office attire: “I wear a full suit and tie every day.”

Your tech role model:  “Jeff Bezos. We’re kindred spirits.”

App you can’t live without:  “ It’s a Chrome extension that lets you leave virtual Post-it notes on websites.”