5 PropTech Startup Trends to Watch in 2019



2018 was a great year for real estate technologies. The blooming success of the sector is most easily illustrated by the $12 billion-plus investors sank into PropTech. With the housing market stabilizing in the coming months, expect technology innovations to help fill in the corresponding competitive gaps. Here’s a look at investing trends and startups that will pave the way for an explosion of PropTech innovation this coming year.

Blockchain
PropTech will soon connect all things physical and financial

The Hive – MetaProp NYC 

Back in June, RXR Realty, Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE invested some $40 million dollars in the world’s biggest early-state property technology investment fund. With a focus on building disruptive PropTech and making tons of money, MetaProp will help fill sales agency toolboxes with killer rent tech and more.

MetaProp’s venture capital hive will manage money for institutions and corporations, as well as family offices. The fund will seed in between $150,000 and $2 million to fund as many as 40 PropTech ventures, according to the company releases. With the big brains and brawn of digital real estate standing behind. MetaProp will end up being a beacon for those wanting to create differentiation in the PropTech space. MetaProp partner Zak Schwarzman told reporters recently, that MetaProp has closed more than 90 prop tech investments already. Among those, property hardware and software venture Enertiv, Frontdoor, and YourWelcome are of special note. You can expect to see a lot more industry tech honey coming from this beehive of entrepreneurs.

BuildSupply

This venture owned by Archer Technologies Pvt. Ltd. just raised $3.5 million dollars this month in a Series A round of funding led by the Venture Highway investment firm, and Google’s former head of search, Amit Singhal. BuildSupply, which is a resource planning (ERP) system for the real estate and construction industries, is designed to streamline and economize development and construction auditing and management processes.

The software platform is a digital automation system to optimize workflows, the billing process, scheduling, material management, and so forth. With the goal of stopping resources leakage, limiting delays, and eliminating cost overruns, BuildSupply will be a huge help and a massive investment success once it’s proven effective. Given the massive size of the construction market, it’s pretty amazing that there’s been so little effort to create software like BuildSupply. This is another one to watch.

PlaceMake.io

This an artificial-intelligence (AI) company is being billed as the ‘Google for location and mobility’.  Developed by mathemetician and AI scientist,
Dr. Chlump Chatkupt, the soon to launch PlaceMake will help its find places or real estate opportunities in order to make better-informed property choices. The AI based system will be able to discern based on variables like property prices, transportation links, school ratings, price trends and data, social media trends, developmental potential, or even how far distant Starbucks is from a property.

PlaceMake is a bit of an enigma as I type this. since not a lot has been released about the “back end” of the technology. What we do know is that apps and AI like this are already redefining everything from retail o urban boundaries. This technology will allow people to search for undervalued properties in order to find investment opportunities in previously ignored areas. But the potential goes much farther than this. The technology is essentially a Big Data and Small Data cruncher that can factor in any number of variables to help in decision making. PlaceMaker.io is releasing in London for starters, but it’s expected to expand to all of UK. Readers may want to read this interview with Dr. Chatkupt to glean more info.

Propertunity

This UK startup aims to help first-time buyers by empowering lending institutions with the ability to forecast future property values. Once the AI helps establish the value, Propertunity’s estimate helps first-time buyers get mortgages based on this value. The technology will supposedly help new buyers get into the market by optimizing for the best solution based on a more perfect potential valuation.

Founded back in 2016 by former Google residents CEO Vadim Toader and CTO Stefan Boronia, the PropTech entity has now raised $1.7 million in seed funding, as well as having attained FCA-accreditation to operate as a mortgage lender. This one is a startup to watch, for obvious reasons. Everyone borrower is going to want to use it, which will force every lender to use it. Brilliant.

FangDD

Even though most western real estate professionals will cringe at the mention, FangDD and other Chinese property marketplace entities are changing the industry in ways no other digital investments have. Many are familiar with Qfang, the online sales platform that has received over $600 million in funding. FangDD is a lesser known and totally different premise. Where FangDD and a range of other Asian marketplace players charge for listings to make their revenue, this Shenzhen startup only gets revenue when listings perform.

FangDD is a “method” to watch because it can be considered a more “broker friendly” model than many others. The reason for this is that FangDD charges a commission based on the value of each transaction, and then shares this commission with the agent who brokered the deal. Though FangDD is not a genuine innovation, and while it is certainly not new, the model it represents will eventually change real estate sales forever. Look for an offshoot in America in 2019.

Summary

PropTech 3.0 (PDF) is here with innovation from augmented reality to blockchain and much more. According to the Oxford University study linked to, PropTech is about “information, transactions, and management,” and a natural progression past “FinTech” to the next phase of digital progress. According to the authors, PropTech is not a subset of the FinTech revolution, but a partner revolution or synergy focused on real estate. The paper accurately describes PropTech 3.0 as the era of blockchain and artificial intelligence.

At the end of this trend, toward PropTech 4.0, such things as lender protection in residential loans and even corporate level transactions could be solved. These innovators and investors are re-imaging the world of real estate. At the small business level, efficiencies provided by PropTech will certainly broaden the bottom line. As always, the potential is unlimited. We’ll keep a tight focus on these startups and others over the coming months, but it’s certain 2019 is going to be an eventful real estate technology year.