Patrick Burns, CEO/Co-Founder of Spruce — Transforming & Modernizing Online Real Estate Transactions

Miguel Armaza
Wharton FinTech
Published in
3 min readAug 6, 2021


Miguel Armaza sits down with Patrick Burns, CEO and Co-founder of Spruce, a proptech powering online real estate transactions that’s on a mission to build a one-click checkout experience for real estate transactions.

Spruce has raised more than $50M from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Scale Venture Partners, and Third Prime.

Mr. Burns is based in NYC and holds an MA in Statistics from Yale and a BA in Physics from Oxford.

In this episode, we discuss:

Patrick’s journey from Scotland to the heart of fintech in NYC.

“One of the benefits of growing up in a small country, is it’s an easy way to naturally have a strong sense of curiosity, right? Your experience of the world is not truly beyond your horizons. So I always grew up with a huge sense of curiosity and a huge love of learning, specifically learning how complex systems work.”

Digitization of the real estate market and why shifting consumer expectations are driving innovation and a better customer experience.

“The traditional real estate transaction really puts people into a box and that’s how you underwrite a person for a mortgage or that kind of thing. But these changing demographics and consumer preferences are creating, yes, different types tastes, but they’re also creating huge segments of consumers that don’t fall into that traditional box.”

Importance of thinking of company culture from day one and how they’ve built a culture of decentralized autonomy.

“What works really well for us is bringing on high integrity, ambitious people, and empowering them with autonomy and with a mandate to be ambitious and confident. Creating an environment where it’s extremely okay to make mistakes and really trusting them to execute against our mission.”

Reflections and lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs… And just a lot more including the ideal itinerary for your next visit to Scotland!

Patrick Burns

Patrick is the CEO and co-founder of Spruce, the proptech company powering online real estate transactions. Spruce has raised more than $50M from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Scale Venture Partners, and Third Prime. Prior to founding Spruce in 2016, Patrick was a product manager at Betterment, the largest automated investment service with $20B under management. He holds an MA in Statistics from Yale, and a BA in Physics from Oxford.

About Spruce

Spruce is the proptech company on a mission to build the one-click checkout experience for real estate transactions. The company is digitizing real estate transactions for forward-thinking real estate companies and mortgage lenders. By leveraging proprietary technology and best-in-class operations, Spruce provides a seamless, affordable solution. Spruce was founded by Andrew Weisgall and Patrick Burns in 2016, and is headquartered in New York with hubs across the U.S.

Full interview → Spotify | Soundcloud | Apple

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Miguel Armaza is Co-Host of the Wharton Fintech Podcast and Co-Founder of Gilgamesh Ventures, a seed-stage investment fund focused on fintech in the Americas.

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Miguel Armaza
Wharton FinTech

🎙Co-President/Podcast Host @WhartonFintech. Fintech investor @ Gilgamesh. 📚MBA/MA Candidate @Wharton/@LauderInstitute. Author of Fintech Leaders Newsletter✍️