Q&A: Dafna Akiva, Co-Founder and Cheif Revenue Office
May 6, 2021
Dafna is a 10+ year veteran in the real estate investment, development, management and construction industries. Prior to co-founding Veev, she served in the Israeli public sector. She held legal leadership roles in the Israeli Parliament and the Justice Department. Throughout her legal career, Dafna worked on public policy, international law, constitutional law, legal research, criminal law legislation, and more across multiple industries. She has developed a unique multi-disciplined perspective across law, macroeconomics, media, and politics.
Prior to her role as Chief Revenue Officer, Dafna oversaw day-to-day operations, driving a number of company-scaling initiatives as Chief Operating Officer. Her work enhanced the company’s operating systems, processes, and procedures to improve the home experience and enterprise efficiency.
Dafna has assumed her role as Chief Revenue Officer, leading the development of new Veev projects that redefine customers’ living experiences, and drive revenue growth for the company. She oversees all real estate acquisitions and operation strategies, real estate development and account management, as well as sales, marketing, legal, and HR. Her leadership skills and background continue to shape Veev into the company it is today.
ADU Magazine connected with Dafna about her background, passion and organization’s genesis. Following find selected highlights and excerpts of that Question & Answer Session.
ADU Magazine: What is Veev? What makes your company different than other ADU prefabs and homes?
Dafna Akiva: Veev is a building technology company on a mission to bring exceptional living to all. Our team works tirelessly across design, development, engineering, manufacturing, and construction, and has developed a vertically integrated approach that essentially productizes the home, optimizing quality, design, technology and manufacturing processes at a faster building and lower cots. Currently, we’re focused on building multi-family homes, town-homes, and ADUs at scale, to help develop and support communities, and improve the overall quality of living.
ADU: How did you get into the ADUs movement?
Akiva: At Veev, we believe that homes are the ultimate consumer product, and so they should be built better, faster, and more cost effectively than the status quo. We entered into the ADU industry to extend our innovative building solution to those seeking ADUs that are built beautifully and practically, and include the latest smart home technology.
ADU: As Co-Founder, what was your inspiration and drive to start?
Akiva: Well to start, I have always strived throughout my career to apply 100% of myself in everything that I do, trying to reach the best possible result, for everyone, in the most efficient way. But specifically in the real estate industry, which is incredibly fragmented by design and process, we set out to completely reimagine the way homes are made. After all, it’s so often the single largest, most important purchase people make in their life. Therefore, quality, design, and cost should be of the utmost importance, right?
And so at Veev, we strive to deliver an experience on par with today’s consumer products and technology. Whether it’s a phone, car, laptop, or your home, it should be built to not just today’s standards, but for the future, and that’s the mindset that drives the way we think of and build Veev homes.
ADU: Your title has changed and evolved over the years, from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Revenue Officer. What is different about your current role?
Akiva: When we first founded Veev, I assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer, overseeing day-to-day operations for the company and driving a number of company-scaling initiatives. I worked extremely hard to develop and enhance our daily operating systems, processes, and HR to improve the home experience for customers, optimize internal efficiency, and mold our company culture.
In 2019, as operations were centralized in our fabrication facilities, I transitioned into the role of Chief Revenue Officer to lead new Veev projects that redefine customers’ living experiences, and drive revenue growth for the company. Today, I oversee all real estate acquisitions and operations, real estate development and account management, as well as sales, marketing, legal, and HR facets of the company.
ADU: What do you enjoy most about your job and people you deal with at the company and throughout the industry? What is your passion?
Akiva: In addition to the aspect of purely building incredible homes for our customers, I’m truly grateful for our hardworking team that continues to make strides for the industry. When we started Veev, we began simply buying, selling, and renovating homes––improving them so that they could be enjoyed by our customers. However, it fostered an exponential thirst and passion for enhancing the home experience altogether, and we have been dedicated to that ever since. We’re on a mission to bring exceptional living to all, and we mean that. With our vertically-integrated approach, we have the ability to be meticulous with each and every aspect of the home. That way, instead of piecing together a patchwork of different contractors, each with different styles and processes, our team designs and manufactures everything in-house, allowing us to realize a home that is entirely Veev, and thus, entirely our vision for what the home experience should look like, feel, and operate.
ADU: Veev is known for their tech and green aspects for their ADU’s what is your favorite feature, design, or aspect of your ADU homes?
Akiva: Our ADU’s are thoughtfully-designed to be both beautiful and designed to fit the customer needs for many years to come. In the same way that we expect our consumer technology to be up to date with the latest technology, we should expect the same from our home or ADU. Veev’s ADUs are built with high quality materials and come outfitted with modern smart technology, enabling owners to control every aspect of their home from the palm of their hand. The customer can control temperature, lighting, locking mechanisms, shades, and more. Personally, I love our ADUs’ modern, thoughtful design, which gives customers the best use out of the unit as well as an exceptional backyard experience altogether!
ADU: What’s it been like to try to get lenders onboard with ADUs?
Akiva: Yes – we’re quite humbled and extremely excited! This past month, we announced $100M in new funding to fuel our rapid growth, bringing our total funding to date to nearly $200M! For this round of funding, we used TASE UP, a first-of-its-kind digital platform built for innovative companies to seek capital by allowing us to raise funds from accredited and institutional investors.
And just this past year, we partnered with the City of San Jose to complete a 78-unit development to help provide relief to those displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our rapid, innovative building approach enabled us to build the San Jose development in a record 90 days, 4x the industry standard. A similar development would have taken a number of months, or even years, to complete using traditional building methods. Our on-the-ground team of only five team members was able to erect 50 walls per week – about one every 30 minutes. That same process would take days or weeks with existing building techniques.
We’re also partnered with LenX, the VC arm driving Lennar Corporation’s technology and innovation strategies. We’re grateful to receive their continued support as they too believe that the housing sector is in critical need of innovation across the board in order to scale.