Apepê: Revolutionizing the Condominium Sector with Breakthrough Technology

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Technology is at the forefront of almost everything we do today. However, there are still some sectors that have not leveraged the full potential of technology. The Residential condominium sector is one such sector.  Using technology in condominiums has been a problem, particularly in countries like Brazil. All condominiums have a concierge, with a doorman. All communication with this doorman has always been complex and analog. Either an intercom in the building is used or the controls are managed through a paper notebook.

For years, there has never been a system that brought practicality and agility that was designed for residents when they come home. However, Apepê, a São Paulo-based company is making a difference in the residential condominium industry with its revolutionary technology. Incepted in 2021, the company is committed to changing the living experience, connecting a resident with everything and everyone in the palm of his hands.


The Establishment Journey

Apepê is the result of COMPASS, a project incubated within the real estate developer SKR, one of the most famous in Brazil. The COMPASS project was born from the desire to bring hospitality services to one of SKR’s clients who, at the moment, had entered his new apartment. One of the first key points that Apepê had was to spin off with SKR, to be able to build a business model that could serve any type of condominium.

The second key point for Apepê was to improve the intelligence inherited from COMPASS, bringing an even wider range of services and solutions for its customers. “Thinking about what to develop and prioritizing implementations was not an easy task, but I believe we did this homework well,” says Carlos Castro (CEO of Apepê). The third key point for the company was to package the system, translate it into simple words, and go out to the market for dissemination so that anyone could understand what Apepê brings to the table. Nowadays Apepê is passing through a seed investment round, looking for business partners capable of acceletare even more its expansion.

Five Pillars of Functionality

Apepê has five pillars of functionality that include,

  1. Convenience: The app allows the users to digitally notify the arrival of a visitor or service provider. It also enables them to make a reservation in a common area (amenities) according to the rules and stipulated times of the condominium. The idea here is to simplify the use of the condominium.
  2. Communication: A resident can easily post any type of announcement to his neighbors as well as communicate with them without the need to send his cell phone numbers. The idea here is to create communities within the condominium.
  3. Honest Market: Apepê installs physical mini markets inside the condominium, with convenience products for residents. The entire purchase journey takes place inside the Apepê—a user just needs to choose a product from the market, scan the barcode through the cell phone, and make the payment inside their Apepê with their credit card.
  4. Smart Lockers: Alongside mini markets, smart lockers are also installed inside the condominium, which does all the automation of the delivery of the package. Anyone can deliver any type of package to a resident using these smart lockers. When collecting the package, the locker communicates with Apepê, which notifies the resident and sends a QR code to his cell phone.
  5. Services: Apepê has an entire ecosystem of external services, called pay-per-use. When desired, the user hires external services as needed—for example, laundry and cleaning. The service is scheduled and paid directly by Apepê. The user just waits for the service to be performed.

Although all these services bring the sympathy and popularity of users, services that are most used are smart lockers, the convenience part, and the honest market. These three items are a paradigm shift for any type of resident since for the first time a system has brought practicality and ease to essential everyday demands indoors.

Coping with the Challenges

The condominium market in Brazil is a very traditional, closed, and bureaucratic market. Breaking this paradigm, thus, was a major challenge for Apepê. Carlos believes that there is no magic formula for success. The company was gradually able to present and introduce its product. Apepê’s reliance on the product and its usability is its secret to success.

Sharing his views on digitization, Carlos states, “I believe that those who do not digitize themselves will no longer be prepared for any type of market.” The shift toward digitization has accelerated since the COVID outbreak. “That, for me, is the future: everything that I can do from the palm of my hand, wherever I am, and in the simplest possible way,” he adds.

Awards and Accolades

Despite being a young company, the number of prizes and articles Apepê has bagged has been astonishing. Receiving foreign recognition, in particular, has been something very prestigious for the company. According to Carlos, it is a sign that the company is on the right path.

Being recognized as one of the “30 Best Companies to watch in 2022”, the team of Apepê feels proud and honored. “We breathe Apepê daily, practically every day of the week. All our decisions are made in a group, we all think as a single organism. Therefore, this type of award is a very important achievement for us,” says Carlos.

Solving the Problem

According to Carlos, the most important factor contributing to Apepê’s success is the ability to solve a problem of any kind of customer. This is the first of the three factors behind the company’s proliferation. The other two are,

  • Spending as little as possible to solve the thesis—does what I thought really solve the problem?
  • Delivering a solution that is still in MVP format, but is absurdly simple to use and has the lowest possible cost

Anticipations for the Future

Being a constant system for identifying problems and finding solutions, Apepê strives to evolve in parallel paths—both for solutions for the Condominium, as well as solutions for users. In the near future, more functions are expected to emerge to help the Condominium connection, such as better concierge control and facial recognition technologies. In the user sphere, more and more services will be part of Apepê’s ecosystem, always in a simple and intuitive journey.

Carlos always believes in innovation. He asserts that every idea is a good idea as long as it is well executed. So, he is seeking business models that do things differently and better than what has already been done, or that present a solution to a problem that no one has ever seen.