Accelerated development of Proptech companies thanks to venture capital funding

Spotted in @trends

Digital transformation is one of the strategic challenges of our companies. The real estate sectoris not immune to this (r)evolution in particular in certain areas: real estate management, the process of marketing and selling real estate, design, architecture and construction. In light of this trend, many ‘PropTech’ start-ups are trying to find their way. Those which succeed in imposing their innovative technological solutions are experiencing spectacular growth, as the use and commercialization of their technology is often subject to few geographical frontiers. Many investors have understood the growth potential of these companies. Venture capital to fund these businesses is pouring in. According to Audit and Consulting firm EY, venture capital invested in PropTech companies grew from $ 9.1 billion in 2015 to nearly $ 25 billion in 2019.

Trends magazine has analyzed this fast-growing economic sector. In his article Laurenz Verledens explains the foundations of this spectacular growth via interviews with the founders of some Belgian PropTech companies, those of Idriss Goossens – CEO of the professional association PropTech Lab and founder of the European PropTech association, and of Arne Allewart en Fredric Van den Weghe, managers of the investment platform AMAVI Capital, described as the first property technology fund in the Benelux.

The Proptech scope

As a preamble, the Trends report defines what Proptech is because it covers a large scope of activities.The term ‘PropTech’ - Property Tecnhology- encompasses technological innovations that bring added value and efficiency to real estate development, from the design and build of a property to its sale, occupancy and management. More precisely :

- The conception and design of real estate involving architects, engineering bureaux, town planners and developers.
- Build. In particular any innovation related to sustainable construction taking into account the climate change challenges (energy performances, circularity in the use of materials, carbon neutrality of activities).
- The marketing of properties in all stages of the sales process: marketing, financing, legal
- Property management
- Occupants use and experience whether they are companies and public administrations occupying large office spaces, retailers, house owners or tenants (including student housing and residents of a nursing and care home).

Exemplary Proptech companies

The PropTech diversity of fields of activity is illustrated in the report by highlighting many PropTech companies, start-ups and scale-ups. In particular, the Immowi company , which provides real estate sellers with a tool intended to facilitate online advertising campaigns, thanks to which the characteristics of a real estate project (location, type, price, etc.) are associated with browsing behavior and clicks from the potentials buyers.

Arne Allewaert, managing Partner at AMAVI Capital highlights the three Proptech companies in which the fund has invested. The Finnish technology company Gbuilder offers real estate developers a tool for streamlining the implementation of construction sites and digitizing the customer experience: the buyers of an apartment or a house can choose their finish in a 3D environment and instantly calculate the impact on the price. Dutch Finch Buildings has developed a circular and modular home construction platform in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). The Brussels-based company Shayp makes it possible to monitor water consumption and identify the probable leaks in large buildings thanks to algorithms that constantly monitor water consumption.

Arne Allewaert also refers to the success story of Spacemaker AI and their talks with the Norwegian PropTech company Spacemaker AI about possible participation in a new fundraising. These talks were abruptly interrupted when Autodesk - an American specialist in 3D design software - offered $ 240 million for the acquisition of Spacemaker AI.

Read more in the Trends report [ Le secteur européen de la PropTech a gagné en maturité ]