Model & Strategy

Suyo is a public benefit corporation that unlocks the economic and social value of property ownership by providing reliable and affordable property rights formalization services to low-income families. Suyo combines technology and financing partnership innovations to achieve our objectives of reducing costs, increasing credibility and streamlining a complex, multiple-step formalization process for low-income families. The magnitude of property informality worldwide and the proportional opportunity for social impact serve as the company’s driving motivation.

Suyo identifies customers through two primary customer acquisition channels: employees of medium- and large-scale companies and families occupying properties auspicious for community-wide formalization processes. Once a prospective customer expresses interest in our service, a Suyo sales agent visits the customer’s home and collects a vast range of data with our mobile app. Using multi-media data capture features and a path-dependent survey detailing the customer’s relationship with the property, Suyo collects 120 different data points on average. These data are instantly received by our headquarters team of lawyers and architects, who use our platform with automation technology to analyze and compare them with existing government data. As a result, Suyo is able to identify the type, feasibility and cost of the service(s) necessary, essentially providing a road map for property formalization. Suyo charges the customer a small fee for this initial property assessment service. After the assessment, the customer can move forward with the full formalization service by paying Suyo directly or financing their service through one of Suyo’s financial partners. Financial data for formalization financing pre-approval are also collected with Suyo’s mobile technology during the field visit.

Suyo logo
At a Glance
Founded: 2014
Economic Empowerment
Location of work: International, Latin America
Carrera 45 #6-115
Medellin, Antioquia 0500022, Colombia
Helping families secure their property rights by offering the most affordable and reliable property formalization services in Latin America
A smiling family of four stands in front of their home in Latin America
Matthew Alexander Suyo entrepreneur
Meet Matthew Alexander

The idea for Suyo sprung from a 2012 pilot project under Mercy Corps, led by Suyo co-founders, Matthew Alexander and Marcelo Viscarra in Bolivia. The 13-month pilot, funded by the Omidyar Network, tested the adoption of a property data platform and mobile communications strategy for property formalization in seven Bolivian communities. Compared to 23 control communities, the seven targets leveraged the technology to carry out land formalization three times faster and 43% cheaper than traditional methods. The encouraging results from this pilot led Matthew and Marcelo to create Suyo in 2014, a company which could offer more reliable and accessible property formalization services for all.


In Latin America, over 55% of low-income families live in homes that are not formally registered. The social/economic benefits of Suyo’s property formalization service include: protection from forced eviction, selling the home for its full value, subdividing the home to generate additional income, using the home as collateral for a loan, transferring the home and its value to other family members, and/or acquiring social services linked to property ownership.

To date, Suyo has provided over 2,500 property assessments and formalization services to low-income families in Colombia, benefiting over 9,900 individuals and creating more than $4M USD in property value in low-income communities. 99% of Suyo’s customers are low-income and 59% are women.