1. Could you give us your definition of PropTech?
Proptech deals with new technologies that address traditional property issues. Property has reached a new frontier that involves both a technology revolution and a shift in needs of building users, and more generally urban dwellers. There is a real convergence between the digital revolution and societal developments in technology. The great opportunity for the world of property today is to be able to rely on digital innovation to meet the new expectations of tomorrow's city users.
Proptech brings on board a whole series of new players, both startups and established companies that are positioning themselves in the property sector. New companies are developing new approaches based on big data, virtual reality, crowdfunding, blockchain, artificial intelligence...
Many technologies can change the real estate industry and proptech impacts the entire property value chain, from financing, transaction management, building, and maintenance to occupancy, construction and more broadly urban design.
2. What are the big trends for PropTech in 2018?
Experts consider that about 2,000 proptech startups of serious ambition exist and it is only the beginning of the process. A handful of companies have raised exceptional amounts, such as WeWork, a company providing premises and coworking services, that raised $5.2 billion in 2017.
Proptech was originally focused on the residential property sector and B2C, which explains why the downstream segments of the value chain are better covered (marketing, sales, and users). This means that companies that offer sales and rental assistance solutions have attracted the largest amount of investment. Integrating technology into other sections of the value chain came later due to the greater financial, security and long-term investment challenges. There is now a growing interest among investors in these other sectors, which offer solutions that enhance the effectiveness of property, such as connected objects, virtual reality and artificial intelligence; meanwhile big data is present at all levels of the value chain, as it is one of the pillars of the entire transformation of the property sector. Technologies linked to funding of property, via blockchain for example, are starting to emerge in the market.
3. What are the start-ups you recommend to keep an eye on?
Among the technologies that have an impact on real estate, big data is certainly the most present because data is now recovered and valued at all levels of real estate, from construction to building management, up to investment analysis. The German startup Drooms, for example, provides a virtual dataroom that offers property owners an ongoing secure, structured, and centralised location for storing documents in the all stages of the asset life cycle.
New technologies equally make it possible to optimize the use of space by means of a battery of applications that manage meeting rooms, parking spaces, and the dynamics of work spaces based on the use of data; and they even improve the comfort of occupants. But who will manage these new technologies inside the building? Sensors can be controlled either by the facility manager, as proposed by the Norwegian company Disruptive Technologies, which offers mini-sensors to finely regulate many building parameters, or directly by the user with Sensorberg, for example, that can let you control sensors remotely via a mobile phone.
4. What differentiate MIPIM PropTech from the rest of the MIPIM events?
MIPIM is the global leading event for real estate professionals. Since 1990, it brings together in Cannes the international real estate community to discuss and share their points of view, shed new light on the global context and how to draw opportunities from it. MIPIM has always been at the forefront of new trends in the property industry. In 2013, MIPIM created a specific exhibition pavilion dedicated to proptech companies. The MIPIM brand is now a global one as there are MIPIM events in the UK, Hong Kong, New York and Paris.
MIPIM PropTech Europe will be the first European event to bring together decision-makers from both startups and technology companies for two days of networking with leaders from the property sector. We want to create a platform that can forge a common language between all the players who are thinking about the city of tomorrow, both in the property and in the new technologies sectors. Our role will be to encourage contacts, discussions, partnerships and the development of new solutions.
With more than 30 countries represented, MIPIM PropTech Europe is already a very international event. This international feature is also nourished by the sister event in New York City, another important hub for the Proptech industry. The first edition of MIPIM PropTech NYC last year received overwhelmingly positive feedback, and many commended the wide range of real estate tech covered as well as the combination of real estate industry delegates, the tech community, and public officials. The second annual MIPIM PropTech will take place on November 6, 2018, at The Metropolitan Pavilion.