It is inevitable that the amount of capital invested in PropTech will increase in 2019 compared to the previous year. As property markets around the world are becoming more educated there is also more international cooperation on the horizon. James Dearsley and Eddie Holmes, the co-founders of global proptech platform Unissu.com talked to Property Forum about the global status of proptech in 2019 and the aims of their new venture.
James will also join us at the upcoming Budapest PropTech Forum 2019 as a speaker.
What are the top trends shaping the world of PropTech in 2019?
Having queried the Unissu database to find out which technologies are the most popular, in order of rank they are Data Analytics, Big Data, Internet of Things, Work Flow Management and Smart Home. This shows us that PropTech is no different from other technology sectors where collecting, organising, managing and processing data is of utmost importance. However, the existence of Work Flow Management in this list – in other words, making existing business processes more efficient – demonstrates that many PropTech businesses are aiming for easy wins.
Will the amount of capital invested in PropTech increase in 2019 compared to 2018?
Yes, it is inevitable. The number of funding events increased from 742 in 2014 to above 1100 in the peak year of 2016. In 2018 only 808 events took place but what we are seeing is a smaller number of investments but at higher dollar amounts. This is quite normal as PropTech businesses mature and investors with deeper pockets start making bets to accelerate growth. This data doesn’t include WeWork or other coworking businesses by the way!
James is recognised as one of the leading thought leaders on the future of the real estate market. His role as the Co-Founder of Unissu, the global leader of PropTech data, information and resources, means he has an unrivalled perspective on global PropTech trends. As a result, he is a much sought-after speaker on the future of the property industry both in terms of how people and companies in the sector should adapt to facilitate change. More »
How’s the property industry doing in embracing technology? How can Unissu help to raise awareness?
The situation could be a lot better. However, we see fabulous pockets of speedy adoption and innovation. Our “PropTechs per capita” metric speaks to great innovation levels in countries like Finland (16.5), Netherlands (15.8) and Switzerland (14.5) but importantly also to an embracing of technology by the property industry in those countries. In comparison, the UK (9.7) and USA (6) look like real laggards. We see our mission at Unissu to be the education of the property industry en masse about the benefits and opportunities that PropTech can offer.
How do you think Unissu will impact the global PropTech community?
We hope that by helping the property industry understand, and engage, with PropTech faster and more efficiently we will also help PropTech businesses find new clients around the world. Because all of our educational content comes from the community, who are all on the frontline of the interaction between property and technology, it’s of a highly practical and applicable nature.
How many countries are represented in the Unissu database? Where do you expect the largest growth in the number of PropTechs? Where do you expect consolidation in the coming years?
We are tracking over 6400 from 85 countries. Since we launched at the start of the year, we’ve added almost 500 new companies to the database and we are seeing enormous appetites in emerging markets like South America and South East Asia. I think that the first consolidation will come from English speaking countries, especially as they are markets which are beginning to mature.
In many cases, PropTechs in different parts of the world offer similar solutions for the same problem. How often do you see them finding each other and cooperating?
Not enough – yet! However, I expect 2019 to be a year where a number of PropTechs reach critical mass and where investors may hold stakes in multiple complimentary businesses. I think these dynamics will drive more international collaboration. We hope they will find each other on Unissu.
Property Forum is the exclusive regional partner for Unissu in Central & Eastern Europe – Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
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Property Forum is a leading event hub in the CEE real estate industry with nearly 10 years of experience. We organise conferences, business breakfasts and workshops focused on real estate, in London, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Bratislava and Prague, amongst other locations.