With over 20-years experience as an entrepreneur and executive in technology and media, REX President Lynley Sides has certainly made her mark as a leader. Recently, FintekNews sat down with Lynley for Q&A as part of their #WomenInFintech series. The series celebrates women who not only make difference at their respective companies, but in the technology industry as a whole. The Q&A is below, but make sure to check out the full article here.
1) What does your financial technology firm offer?
REX Real Estate is a full-service, fully licensed brokerage that provides a streamlined, digital alternative in the sale of a home. The company, powered by big data, AI, and machine learning, is the only brokerage successfully sidestepping the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) and charging just a 2% total fee — putting an average of $25,000 back into the pockets of consumers. REX offers a better experience for buyers and sellers — all while avoiding the costs and frustrations associated with the traditional, agent-based model.
2) What was the personal motivation for you to launch your firm?
From day one, REX has been committed to doing good things for real estate consumers and to providing homes for those in the greatest need, wherever they may be. We’ve saved about $8 million for consumers so far and the stories we hear about how our customers have spent that money to buy a dream home, educate a child or travel the world are incredibly inspiring and motivating to me and to our whole team.
3) As a female entrepreneur, do you feel any advantages/disadvantages in being female as you are seeking capital to grow & building your business?
As an electrical engineering major in college and subsequently working in tech, I was always one of few females, so I’ve never really thought about whether I’m disadvantaged or advantaged by being a female startup leader. As the CEO of The Glue Network, I had the privilege of participating in the Springboard accelerator program which included only female CEOs and investors. I learned a great deal from the fundraising boot camp, mentorship, and pitch events, so I benefited by being female in that case. The investors in businesses I’ve led have been almost entirely men – I don’t believe being female made any difference in the amount or sources of the funds.
4) Do you feel you are at a competitive advantage – or disadvantage – as a female fintech entrepreneur – or neither?
I believe there are great benefits to diversity of all kinds. Management teams that include at least one female leader have a different dynamic which I think is healthier – but because of the mix, not specifically because of the female perspective. At REX, we all work fast and juggle multiple balls, while always striving to do the right things for consumers, for the world, and for our teammates. This value system is equally important to my co-founder and company CEO – who is male – as it is to me.
5) Do you feel there are more women starting financial technology companies than in other business sectors? If so, why or why not?
Not necessarily. And the data still shows the gender scales have yet to tip. But I do feel there are more women starting companies in general, which is awesome. I always encourage anyone with great ideas to relentlessly execute upon their ideas and raise money to grow them into a company.
6) Do you think the trend will continue where we will see more women in leadership roles in fintechs (Yes/No) and why?
Definitely. I think the trend toward more female leaders in fintech, tech and investor circles will continue since women are still underrepresented in those fields.