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UPDATE #11/20

December 2020

Dear PropTech Community,

I hope this message finds you all in good health!

Check out the winners of the BUILTWORLD ConTech contest:
ClevAir, Oxara, Mobbot, Converge, and Digital Engineering Solutions

The new norm of working will be:
2-3 days office, 1-2 days home, 1-2 days from a flex space near your home.
WorkClub is London’s leading Workspace-as-a-Service platform and I am delighted to share with you that I have joined their advisory board.

Yes this year is everything different, but each period of time has its ups and downs – watch.
The world needs more empathy, sustainability, and the ultimate source of a happy life is warm-heartedness.
I truly enjoyed reading: The Dalai Lama on Why Leaders Should Be Mindful, Selfless, and Compassionate
I wish you all a relaxing, HaPpY holiday and a smooth start into the new year 2021!

Big hug and stay safe,
Julia 😉


How will you work?

While you may return to the office, not everything will be as it once was. Some trends intensified by the pandemic are here to stay, likely for decades. A recent article looks at four of them: technology-first building management, more low-touch and touchless environments, more flexibility on employee in-office hours, and more intentional team building & connecting. The article also cites statistics that the two biggest struggles of remote workers are “collaboration and communication” and fittingly ex aequo “loneliness”. 

Where will you work?

Most conversations today focus on the choice between home and office. WorkClub is a third option – a workspace-as-a-service platform linking remote professionals with neighborhood coworking clubs. Through one mobile app members can book a desk for the day or meeting rooms by the hour anywhere within the WorkClub network of work near home coworking. While they are focused on Greater London right now, they are currently raising funds to expand to new geographies. 

Who will you work for?

It’ not only because of the digitalization push triggered by the Corona Pandemic that 2020 will be the year in which the topics PropTech and ConTech will once and for all become essential. One indication is that European PropTech investor PropTech1 Ventures is obviously meeting with a lot of approval in the real estate industry as the operational investor team is being further expanded: PropTech1 is looking for an additional partner and investment principal. This is hardly surprising, as the untapped market potential at the interface between venture capital and real estate is obvious in Europe: While 12-14% of all VC investments globally go to PropTechs, in Europe this figure is only 6%. The average investment size in Europe is about 6 times smaller ($8-10 million) than the global average ($50-60 million). The PropTech ecosystem can only benefit from thriving European VC investors. 

Who will build your workplace?

Construction is a $1.3 trillion industry in the United States alone. But ConTechs are shaking things up. A new article identifies four typical challenges of construction projects: high fragmentation, poor communication, a lack of data transparency, and a shortage of skilled labor. Major areas being addressed by ConTechs include project conception (for instance through site proposals or construction loan financing) as well as design and engineering (for example through specification development or quality assurance).

Sector performance post-COVID

A study of the economic impact of COVID looks at number of industries related to the financial sector, including PropTech. After a dip in the first quarter of the year, investment recovered quickly in the second quarter. M&A activity has also picked up again. SPACs have raised more money than last year. A US PropTech funding forecast covers three scenarios ranging from $10.9 billion to $17.2 billion in 2021. The report also contains a depiction of PropTech areas of opportunity arranged by trends (short-term vs. long term) and post-COVID demand (reduced vs. increased). More details are available here.


Emotional intelligence, artificial intelligence or both?
A futurist discusses the key skills and technologies the hybrid workplace will demand of leaders

What’s the typical price of a home in America?
The top 10 most valuable real estate cities in America

No cars required?
The 15-minute city is urban planning’s new utopia

Deals & cooperations

Finland-based, a real estate data platform powered by machine learning, has raised €100 million in a combination of equity and debtfunding.

U.S. home insurance technology company Hippo Enterprises gets $350 million of growth funding from Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company.

Vacation rentals giant Airbnb is expected to have its IPO by the end of the year. Overall, the company has raised at least $6.4 billion so far.

Spacemaker, which has developed artificial intelligence supported software for urban development, is being acquired Autodesk for $240 million in a mostly all-cash deal.

Shadow Ventures is launching a new early stage funding option in the form of crowdfunding targeted specifically at PropTechs.

Real estate technology focused venture capital firm Camber Creekhas closed its next fund with $155 million.

Round Hill Capital’s venture capitalspin-off Round Hill Ventures has announced its first dedicated European PropTech fund with €200 million.

Huge commercial real estate landlord Tishman Speyer launchend SPAC priced at $300 million which will invest in PropTechs.

UPDATE #10/20

November 2020

Dear PropTech community,

I hope this newsletter finds you all well in these special times of uncertainty!

In December 2018 I was in Toronto at the first demo day of the Techstars Colliers Proptech Accelerator. Now I am grateful to have the opportunity to be an advisor, a ROI-driven workplace analytics platform, empowering real estate teams to make data-based decisions, which was in their first batch of PropTech companies. The interaction with the amazing humble, smart founders Eldar and Olmo is inspiring.
PLUGandPLAY, a global accelerator, has a Real Estate & Construction program that I joined as a mentor.

Yes, yes, we all have heard about the magic triangle: Body, Mind and Soul.
And I can tell you firsthand that keeping a balance as a working mom of two teenage boys is super tough. I re-started running daily after soooo many years of travelling around the globe to meet clients, attend events, late dinners etc. and also taking my time out to meditate, going to the massage and yoga – it feels right and long-term overdue!
Regarding the mind I love what I do and every week I spend a lot of time reading about the fast-pacing technology trends in the built world.
Soul, having a family and good friends is the spice in life!
How are YOU doing in all three areas?

Take good care of yourself and keep in mind you live NOW and you can’t ‘buy’ good health!

Your Julia

One winner

A panel of angel investors, venture capitalists, corporate investors and thought leaders in commercial real estate technology has selected this year’s winner in the “Industrial” category of the Annual Real Estate Tech Awards: It is Chunker, a short-term warehousing space marketplace. Check out the other winners here.

Ten winners

We think a lot about buildings, but what can and should the public spaces connecting them look like in order to allow social distancing? The city of Baltimore has asked this question. Architecture and design companies submitted 162 plans, out of which 10 have been selected and packaged into a free “Design for Distancing Ideas Guidebook”.

Understanding workplace occupancy

How can companies track their office occupancy in real-time for COVID compliance and space optimization? With a network-as-a-sensor approach and artificial intelligence, Techstars Proptech graduate connects to multiple sites in less than 2 hours, is up to 10 times cheaper than sensor-based solutions, and is privacy-protective by design. The system already manages more than 2 million square feet. The company will also release a free demo account with a real-time data simulation. You can reach out to for early access.


Understanding real estate brokers

A webinar on how brokers can benefit from PropTech innovation included Ariel Property Advisors Founder and President Shimon Shkury, who emphasized a culture of collaboration backed by data in order to do justice to the fact that information and relationships constitute the heart of brokering. Cushman & Wakefield Head of Global Innovation Kathleen Cahill pointed out the importance of fundamentally rethinking rather than just incrementally changing processes.


The next chapter in construction technology

McKinsey has taken a close look at how integrated software platforms are reshaping the construction industry. The pandemic has only accelerated a trend that has been going on for around 10 years. Venture capital investment in this area has outpaced the overall venture capital trend by a factor of 15 already last year. Regarding investment types, M&A was the largest one, accounting for $13 billion out of a total if $25 billion invested in construction tech from 2014 to 2019. The report also contains a comparison of momentum by category and a more detailed breakdown of use cases. You can find it online here.


How do we think about property?
Proptech is a 2020 game changer

Are you familar with MMC and P-DfMA?
MMC: the key for real estate

What can we learn from the pandemic’s impact on supply chains?
10 Reasons Sustainability Needs To Be Part Of Your Digital Transformation Strategy

Deals & cooperations

Khosla Ventures has led a seed round of 4 million dollars for Y Combinator graduate Atmos, which makes it easier to build custom homes.

Also focusing on customized home building, the seed round of Welcome Homes led by Global Founders Capital has amounted to 5.35 million dollars.

A series A of 5 million dollars has been announced by SquadStack, which is based in both San Francisco and New Delhi. Its AI-driven platform Auctm helps brokers run and grow their business.

Agora, which provides a materials management platform for the construction industry, has raised 7.2 million dollars in a round led by 8VC.

In spite of the pandemic hitting the hospitality industry hard, Munich-based Limehome, which provides a fully digital concept for hotels, has increased the size of its Series A by 10 million Euros to a total of 31 million Euros.

In a series B led by Qualcomm Ventures, AiFi has raised 14.5 million dollars for its retail-store automation system.

Voltus has announced a series B of 25 million dollars. The startup provides cash-generating energy products to commercial, institutional, and industrial customers.

REEF Technology, North America’s largest network of mobility and urban logistics hubs, has raised a whopping 700 million dollars.

UPDATE #09/20

October 2020


Dear PropTech Community,

I hope this message finds you all well in these special times of uncertainty!
A friend of mine, a great business angel based in the US who invested in several top-notch PropTechs, said that he only invested in solutions that he used for his work in real estate and every Friday at 3pm he listens to pitches. His criteria are that PropTech solutions must fill one or more of the three buckets below:
1. Enables him to offer better services to his clients
2. Saves him time
3. Helps him to make more money
Well, it’s my utmost pleasure to announce that I joined as an advisor alongside my dear friend Ronen.
spaceOS fits in all three buckets mentioned above, their platform creates an exceptional user experience and service for occupiers, it saves time by digitizing complex operational processes and allows landlords to offer services through a digital platform and creates new revenue streams.
I enjoyed reading: To Achieve Big Goals, Start with Small Habits and I am still trying to integrate meditation into my daily life.
PLEASE take your time and ask your family members, friends and colleagues how they feel!
Wishing you all the best and stay safe,
Julia 😉


Economy interview

Renowned business school Wharton has published an interview with professor Todd Sinai, who directs its Assessing Commercial Real Estate Investments and Markets in the Era of COVID-19 program. He is rather pessimistic regarding the prospects of much of retail – not least because around three quarters of retail space in the United States had already been made redundant even before the pandemic. Asked about today’s winners, Sinai first thoughts relate to technology, particularly data centers, but also bits of technological real estate that aren’t always thought of as such, like cell towers.

Company interview

Google’ CEO Sundar Pichai has been interviewed too. Based on experiences with employees working from home, the company is now changing its physical spaces in order to optimize them for hybrid work models, in which consciously chosen on-site gatherings (while still retaining the home office otherwise) will play a major role. Interestingly, reasons Pichai cites for continuing to let employees work from home include both better productivity and a sense of certainty by employees.

Easier investment

A digitally enabled way of making real estate investments interesting also for smaller investors is by using security tokens. Black Manta Capital Partners, a pioneering tokenization-as-a-service provider, and their legal advisors DLA Piper have now presented an illustrative example case in Berlin, where around €2m have been funded via tokens. Participation was possible starting with as little as €500.

Easier usage

Making office buildings safer, more flexible and human-centric is the core mission of spaceOS. They do so by improving the landlord’s understanding of their occupiers’ sentiment and intent based on collected data and by providing a holistic user experience for occupiers through an app. APIs allow the integration of existing software and hardware (e.g. access control) into one holistic tech stack for commercial real estate. The solution has already been rolled out to top asset managers like Commerz Real, Immofinanz and Sage Realty. Recently, end-to-end occupier lifecycle management (including offers, contracts and payments for leases and memberships) was added.


Residential marketplaces in Switzerland

In Switzerland, online portals account for 95% of residential sales. However, there are different types of such marketplaces. This study compares not just their business models in general, but also lists fees of specific portals. Among the platforms open to private individuals, flat fees (up to CHF 9500) dominate. On the other hand, in a case with a percentage fee of 2.25% it is up to transactions parties how that fee will be split between them. Of course price models of transaction matchmaking for institutional clients feature much lower percentages (0.1% to 0.15% commission). More details are available here:Digital Real Estate Market and PropTech Solutions in Switzerland



Lots of data for lots of money:
AssetTech and PropTech are the “new black”

More technology for more people:
Property Technology for African real estate

A good view of good views:
Where Are the World’s Tallest Buildings?

Deals & cooperations

Estonia-based Remato, has raised a €450K seed round. It provides a SaaS solution to manage the construction process.

Ecomedes also announced a seed round, in this case $1.5M. The startup is based in San Francisco and eases purchasing for commercial building interiors.

Continuing in the US, Mosaicbrought in $14.3M in its series A. This ConTech focuses on the homebuilding industry.

Already at series C, Orchard got another $69M. The US-based online platform focuses on residential real estate.

A ₹1.4B venture round was raised in India by Strata, which provides fractional investing in commercial properties.

Meanwhile in China, the local subsidiary of shared office space giant WeWork took in $200M of venture capital.

In a private equity deal, PropertyGuru raised SGD300M. The company provides both rental and sale listings online.

Last but not least, there is a new fund, the Real Estate Technology European Fund by Fifth Wall, which has several strong European corporates on board like BNP Paribas Real Estate, PONTOS, MOMENI, etc.

UPDATE #08/20

September 2020


Dear PropTech Community,

I hope you all had an amazing relaxing summertime and were able to recharge your batteries!
My family and I spent a couple of weeks sailing in Greece.
I am excited to share with you my new business endeavor. After the successful exit of the largest event platform in Europe, FUTURE:PropTech in December 2019, I co-founded the soon to be largest event platform FuturePlace in Asia Pacific with two top-notch co-founders. John and Leon have extensive event experience under their belt.
We are grateful to have an amazing Global Leadership Board of wonderful real estate, PropTech, and ConTech experts like Susanne Eickermann-Riepe, Aaron Block, and Darren Bechtel.
Please take good care of yourself!
Your Julia


Smart and popular

If you want to fetch a good price for new apartments, you’ll want to make sure they include ample of smart home technologies. At least if you’re targeting Generation Z, who really value this not just for reasons of convenience, but also because it ultimately enables a reduced environmental footprint (which is why smart thermostats should be among your top priorities).

Smart and unpopular

If you manage properties, on the other hand, you’ll want to pay close attention to the IT security aspects of your various smart sensors and controls. To show the extent of the very real threat, cyber security experts have set up honeypots – systems which to the outside world appear like legitimate devices – and then monitored them. They counted more than 100 million attacks within half a year.

Space and furniture

You’re buying a home. You know the floor plan and some 3D renderings. But what if you could already virtually walk around in your future home yourself, view choices of possible materials and furniture (and their cost implications) directly there, and have your final selection automatically transferred to the relevant systems of the construction company? New software from Finland makes this possible.

Space and vegetables

Efficient ways of using available space in densely populated urban areas (such as a former air raid shelter in London) are the future. Vertical farming – growing food on stacked shelves in a controlled indoors environment – is one such trend, which is predicted to grow by more than 570% in the next 5 years. 

Australia and money

PropTech is making waves in Australia. After the foundation of country’s PropTech association (as I reported already in 03/20), Australia now also has a venture capital fund with one of the investors being from Germany (Patrizia).

Australia and events

In addition, Australia and other countries in the region will benefit from a new event platform which dosnt’t just lists events, but provides a full spectrum of relevant services ranging from market intelligence and consulting to public relations and social media.


Mid-Year 2020 Global PropTech Confidence Index

A new study highlights current sentiments of both investors and startups. They are very much in agreement about their general confidence in the market (which dropped by 33% for investors and 35% for startups). On the other hand, they also both expect an accelerated adoption of PropTech because of the coronavirus (89% for investors, 84% for startups). This is partly driven by technology that used to be just a convenience now suddenly becoming mission-critical. Investors are interested primarily in the early stages of startups (86% target the seed stage, followed by 68% series A, 46% pre-seed). The report was produced by MetaProp in partnership with the Real Estate Board of New York and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. You can download it here.



How will the workplace evolve?
The office building of the future should be an essential part of its community

How are flex-space operators adapting to the current market?
Challenging office market forces operators to adapt their business models

How will you sign for your next home?
No pen required: The digital future of real estate closings

How can a city phase out fossil fuel in new buildings?
Vienna establishes climate protection areas

Deals & cooperations

In the UK, a seed round of £3.3 million has been raised by Orbital Witness, a startup using machine learning technology aiming to create a “universal risk rating” for real estate.

Across the big pond, the seed round of Proper came in at $4.8 million. It provides software-based accounting to landlords with between 200 to 10,000 units.

Also in the US, Till raised a $8 million in seed. The startup acts as an intermediary between landlords and renters, creating customized payment schedules.

Workspace management software provider spaceOS has announced a €2.5 million round, €2 million of which come from Immofinanz.

A $4.2 million series A has been closed by Avail, which automates the rental process for landlords.

ROOM has collected a $12.5 million series A to pursue its vision of designing modular office solutions.
A €23 million series B has been closed by Cowboy, which focuses not on homes or offices, but rather builds smart electric bikes for getting there.

Around six times as much, $150 million in a series E, went to home insurance technology provider Hippo. Now valued at $1.5 billion, the company expects to be ready for going public next year.

In a traditional acquisition, PriceHubble is taking over the Austrian data-driven PropTech Checkmyplace (while PriceHubbleitself is getting a further undisclosed amount of capital from Vienna-based Soravia and from Frank Strauss).

The majority of German neighborhood network nebenan.dehas been taken over by Hubert Burda Media, which now owns 61% after acquiring the shares of Lakestar as well as several angel investors.

Finally, there is a company going public via a special purpose acquisition company: Porch, the home improvement marketplace.

UPDATE #07/20

July 2020


Dear PropTech Community,

on a personal note, both my boys came home with an amazing school report, having a mean of 1.3 and 1.5 (on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0 with 1.0 being the best). We aim to have another amazing summer together, that’s the best gift for all of us – to spend quality time together. The best things in life you can’t buy. SEIZE THE MOMENT!
Last week I was part of the BUILTWORLD jury, where I am on the advisory board. We got several hundreds of PropTech applications, listened to the 50 best pitches, and selected 25 for the finals in autumn. Here are the 5 finalist in each of the 5 PropTech categories (my favorites are bold):

1. Finance
Native Finance

2. Digital Building Operations
Einhundert Energie

3. Digital Asset Management

4. Digital Markets & Transactions
Room Estate

5. Smart City Solutions
Lancey Energy Service
State Of Place
ENJOY your summer, love and laugh ?

Your Julia

PS: In autumn I will share my new entrepreneurial venture with you …


Future products by PropTechs

Now that remote work is at the center of attention, it is only natural to ask how this will shape the direction of future PropTech products. An article emphasizes three points as the most important ones: Providing value to tenants also when they are outside the buildings, providing value to landlords also when their buildings are partly empty, and helping landlords convince tenants that the buildings are now a safe work environment again.

Current products for PropTechs

Meanwhile, PropTechs not only make tomorrow’s products, they also use today’s products. Property Week looked at which tools were most popular at the height of the lockdown. You’d probably have guessed that video conferencing is number one. Perhaps a bit more surprising is that people seem to be actually happy with how these tools work. At any rate, with this new focus on communication, PropTechs currently tend to shift some attention away from their previous darlings of analytics and forecasting.

Data science for real estate

Yet innovative ways of dealing with data are still the future. Another articlelooks at tangible benefits of data science for real estate and identifies five particularly promising areas: property price indices, automated valuation models, time series forecasting, cluster analysis, and geographic information systems. However, the same article also notes that by and large, the real estate industry still lacks the skills required for implementing these approaches.

Sensor science for real estate

Sometimes the real challenge lies not in managing data, but in getting it in the first place. Environmental damage of concrete structures (for example corrosion) amounts to several billion euros per year worldwide, but assessing the condition of the concrete infrastructure is hard. A new research project now employs optical-chemical sensor technology, hitherto mainly used in biotechnology and medical technology, for quick concrete assessment.


Swiss PropTech Study 2020

The results of this survey paint a differentiated picture of the Covid-19’s impact on PropTechs and their reactions. On the one hand, almost all companies surveyed (92%) have been affected by lockdown measures. On the other hand, around half of them estimated the impact on themselves to be in the lower third. Demand for their products and services has decreased for 41% and increased for 32%. Among PropTechs’ reactions, the most common ones are more intensive of selling (16%), more intensive employee communication (14%), and more focus on core clients (13%). Details can be downloaded here.



A summary of the German-speaking PropTech scene:
PropTech Startup Guide

What will the new normal look like?
European startups and VCs gave their opinion

The commercial real estate industry will have to catch up:
Proptech will be essential for CRE after COVID-19

Deals & cooperations

Aareal Bank has acquired 40% of objego, a startup which targets mainly private landlords in Germany (who manage 14 million flats and houses) with its simple to use software for creating service charge statements.

€3M million have been raised by Housefy, a Spanish platform for selling flats and houses between private individuals.

Another European startup, Estonia-based EstateGuru, a cross-border property loan marketplace, has closed a €5M Series A.

Meanwhile doorkee, a US-based apartment rental platform incentivizing tenants to give proper vacancy notice, has collected $5.7Malready in its Seed round.

Canadian workplace management platform Lane‘s Series A came in at$10M.

Sundae, a US marketplace focused on selling distressed property, has closed a $16.6M Series A.

The Series A of HelloOffice, is a office space brokerage also based in the US, brought in $20M.

German real estate agent platform Homeday has raised €40M with Axel Springer and PurpleBricks as lead investors.

US-based property management solution Mynd already had a Series C of $42M with Wells Fargo Securities in the lead.

Finally, $50M was the size of SevenRooms‘ Series B led by Providence Strategic Growth. The company is also based in the US and provides a platform for managing operations, marketing, and guest engagement targeted at the hospitality and entertainment industries.

UPDATE #06/20

June 2020


Dear PropTech Community,

inspiration from Albert Einstein:
“Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Please check out the amazing article Real Estate Dislocation and Innovation in a Covid World by MetaProp VC!

And I also recommend reading a note from a leader of the PropTech ecosystem: Adam Stanley.

A personal note:
I am half Afghan and half German. I was born and raised in beautiful Hamburg, Germany and thanks to my light skin and green eyes people treated me normal … but I do recall a situation when one of my classmates at university told me that her parents hate foreigners and that I can’t visit her family home in East Germany because I look different. She had long blond hair and I was totally speechless. Also, one of my close girlfriends had difficulties getting modelling jobs in Germany because of her black skin color and she moved to London.
It’s time to change and act now. We all can contribute to a change as a mom educating our children, as a leader to ensure diversity!
Life is so precious – enjoy! ?
Big hug & stay safe!

Your Julia


Getting to the post-Covid office

When you’re going back to your nice office with the nice view in the nice skyscraper, how do you get up there, while observing social distancing in the elevator? Experts from HUNDT CONSULT have calculated that the average elevator measures only slightly above 2 square meters. Solutions will usually comprise both organizational and technical aspects customized for the particular situation of a property.

People in the post-Covid office

It’s hardly a surprise that lots of people are now considering organizational and behavioral measures for people in offices. An article by Omers Ventures lists a range of possible approaches and also places them on a chart to distinguish the short-term from the long-term as well as the more tenant-focused ones form the more landlord-focused ones.

Technology in the post-Covid office

Technology provider Thing-it has introduced Virus Guard, a new set of anti-Covid functions ranging from people count and gathering heatmaps to capacity overflow alarms through push notifications to audit trails of prevention measures. Virus Guard is released free of charge for all of the company’s existing clients.

No post-Covid office?

But wait … to what extent are offices still going toe be used at all? The New York Times discusses many ramifications with Manhattan as its high-profile example. Meanwhile, startups focusing on tenant risk may have bright future. Finally, after all the talk about “work from home”, TechCrunch now proclaims“work from anywhere” as the new mantra.


The next stage of startup collaboration

Given the current economic challenges, leveraging synergies is more important than ever. Now acccoi partners and Pioneers have distilled their experiences of established firms cooperating with startups into a new report. The main focus is on specific ways to measure innovation performance across four phases of collaboration. Recommended key performance indicators range from the number of corporate decision makers involved in the topic definition at the very beginning to the amount of follow-on business ultimately generated by a collaboration. You can download the PDF here.




No high-tech district on Toronto’s waterfront?
Sidewalk Labs pulls out of Toronto’s Quayside project, blaming COVID-19

What’s next for construction?
10 European startups shaping the future of the construction industry

Covid as an opportunity for growth?
home24 Q1 2020 Trading Update

Deals & cooperations

So Covid notwithstanding, you’ve still got that office which needs to be managed? Danish startup Good Monday can help, especially now that it has raised around €3.5 million.

Similarly, Swiss workplace analytics startup Locatee has closed a €3.6 million Series A.

In the smart home space, SmartRenthas raised $60 million in a Series C led by Spark Capital, with Fifth Wall, Energy Impact Partners, Amazon Alexa Fund, Bain Capital Ventures, and RET Ventures as further investors.

But what about creating new housing space? California-based United Dwelling turns garages into affordable housing and has just closed a $10 million Series B for that purpose.

The same amount of $10 million went to construction industry fintech platform provider Briq in a Series A led by Blackhorn Ventures, with earlier investors Eniac Ventures, MetaProp NYC, and Darling Ventures participating again.

A whopping $170 million have been raised by first and last mile transportation provider Lime. The lead investor here was not a VC, but famous company Uber, albeit with participation of for example Alphabet and Bain Capital Ventures.

Meanwhile, PointCentral has acquired Doorport, which makes it easy to upgrade outdated apartment intercoms into smart, secured access systems.

Digital commercial real estate transaction platform Ten-X has been acquired by CoStar Group for $190 million in cash.

For around $100 million, Apple has acquired the also Californian augmented reality development company NextVR.

Regarding funds, Taronga’s Real Tech Ventures Fund now has three new investors: Dexus, PATRIZIA AG, and CBRE Inc.

In Austria, energy provider Wien Energie has established Smartworks Innovation for investing in innovation around energy, the digital transformation, and smart city services.

UPDATE #05/20

May 2020


Dear PropTech Community,

In these trying times, I have found companies in three states:
1. Either work has basically stopped, and they are struggling to survive.
2. Or they are crazy busy managing the situation.
3. Or work goes on, but they must cope with their new situation.
I hope you are in this last one.

In March, we saw how quickly we can cope with change – and how we are suddenly working much more digitally than we could have imagined. And we have also seen how technology can help us to embrace this challenge and the challenges to come – now it is time to invest in our future capabilities to navigate through these difficult times and beyond. The best time to invest in PropTech e.g. seamless, touchless entry to the workspace, everything controlled via your smartphone including a guest pass code, cloud enabled, cybersecurity, as well as balancing safety and privacy.

Stay safe!

Your Julia


Less revenue

Obviously, the current crisis hits many companies hard. Softbank Group is a good example: It has has announced a loss of around €6.4 billion for its past financial year (until the end of March). Over the same time period, the value of its investments through the Softbank Vision Fund went down by around €15 billion. This includes the major PropTechs We Company and Oyo.

Less salary

Executives in many companies are taking salary cuts. The CEOs of CBRE Group, Marriott, and Wyndham forego their entire base salaries. Other companies include Vornado, Cushman & Wakefield, Compass, Redfin, and Realogy. Many executives take cuts between 15% and 30%.

Less headcount

The situation is rather more dire for the many more employees who … well, aren’t employees any more. Opendoor, for instance, has laid off 600 people. And real estate seems to be the fourth most affected industry (after retail, consumer, and food; but before fitness, travel, and transportation).

More virtual work

Working remotely as much as possible is a rather obvious response, but that’s not the same thing as saying that it’s widely officially welcome. However, companies are increasingly taking a positive longer term perspective. Zillow with its more than 5,000 employees has already allowed employees to work from home for the rest of the year. And a survey of survey of over 300 CFOs and finance leaders by Gartner has revealed that 74% of companies intend to let 5% or more previously on-site employees work remotely also after the crisis, permanently.

More virtual reality

PropTechs providing VR alternatives to physical presence predictably experience a surge in demand. In the case of the virtual walkthrough tours offered by VirtualAPT, that has been an increase of over 500% in a single month. Bobby Goodman, co-founder of online office space listing platform Truss, which also provides virtual tours, says quite simply: “Everyone in our ecosystem is running toward PropTech solutions”.

More physical reality

While no one knows exactly how soon how many people will move back to their old offices, there is widespread interest in changing those old offices into new office layouts that minimize close contact between employees. Cushman & Wakefield is already working on a specific concept they call the “6 Feet Office”.



Technological advancements disrupting the global construction industry

A new report examines the projected growth through 2025 of different technologies in relation to their current value. Leading the pack in terms of growth is 3D printing (246%). BIM, digital twins, and smart buildings show more modest but still impressive double-digit growth, and much larger absolute values. In the case of smart buildings, that amounts to more than $59 billion projected for 2025. You can download the Ernst & Young report as a PDF file.



While a new idea for the construction industry, digital use cases are not as complicated as they sound:
Tech 101: Digital use cases

Investment in PropTech is set to accelerate as the industry matures:
Proptech is ready for its ‘Amazon-shift’ moment

Proper ventilation, filtration and humidity reduce the spread of pathogens like the coronavirus:
Your Building Can Make You Sick or Keep You Well

For whom is PropTech even a possibility?
As internet access proves critical, we are missing targets to connect everyone

Deals & cooperations

In the United States, S3 Ventures and Brick & Mortar Ventures co-led a $10 million Series A round of IFM Restoration, which solves the problem of finding contractors to handle maintenance and repairs for both landlords and property management companies, which it matches with appropriate tradespeople. For that purpose it maintains a nationwide network of independent contractors. After a $1 million seed round, this is now the startup’s first institutional funding.

Starcity provides affordable co-living spaces in expensive cities, currently at 12 locations in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Acting as developer as well as as operator, it raises money on the one hand from limited partners and lenders for property developments, and on the other hand venture capital for further expansion. Now it has announced a $30 million Series B. The company’s investors include Bullpen Capital, Deciens Capital, Pay It Forward VC, Peak State Ventures, and Reshape.

Airbnb already had $3 billion in cash and a $1 billion line of credit, but in order to improve its prospects in light of the pandemic, it has now secured another $1 billion loan from Apollo Global Management, Oaktree Capital Management, Owl Rock, Silver Lake, and Sixth Street Partners.

In Germany, access control solution provider Kiwi has announced a €10 million Series B. Investors include the previous ones Arbonia Gruppe and Deutsche Wohnen. The money is meant to fuel expansion (currently on track for 300.000 residential units) also outside of Germany.

In India, where NoBroker helps people renting or buying an apartment avoid expensive brokers and has also expanded into related categories of services, the five year old company has extended its previous Series D by adding a further $30 million from General Atlantic. The brings the round now closed to $80 million and the total amount raised to more than $150 million.

In Australia, a A$6 million Series A led by led by AirTree Ventures was closed by Archistar. The startup is also backed by an impressive roster of individual investors who are former top executives of CBRE Australasia, REA Group, CoreLogic, News Corp Australia, and Murdoch Media. Archistar serves developers with a combination of architectural design software and artificial intelligence and now intends to expand internationally.

UPDATE #04/20

April 2020


Dear PropTech Community,

my introduction is about PropTech in times of COVID-19!

Several PropTechs which focus on cost savings, remote work, and process automation are soaring.

  • Anything that is digital, frictionless, involves less manual intervention in areas like market research, marketing, data collection, asset/deal management, financial products like insurance and appraisals, transactional/leasing platforms and marketplaces, mobile payment, building access, property management, tenant communication, energy efficiencies, etc. will move to the head of the adoption curve. Sadly, less people means less exposure risk.
  • VR/AR/digital wins! Finally this niche has the impetus it has needed for the industry to embrace it. For example, real estate agents use now VR for virtual apartment tours – no more waiting for an appointment to view an apartment.
    Tools like Matterport and eyespy360 are experience tremendous demand.
    You can expect a flood of new tools and applications, but to me, that’s a good thing!
  • ConTech (Construction technology) will be a huge winner!
    Cost savings and controls that help eliminate waste and accelerate stalled projects will be in higher demand than ever in an environment where efficiency, speed, and savings in development now matter more than anything else.
    Drones are perfect for construction sites inspections.
  • Consolidation and finally the “Bloomberg of CRE” emerges. Now more than ever, landlords and brokerages will say, “I want one end-to-end portal for EVERYTHING”. There are a few forward-thinking startups I know that are already working on this and many already out there like Procore, RealPage,Yardi, LightBox, Accruent, Building Engines, Altus Group, and MRI Softwarebut new ones will finally emerge.
  • IoT IoT IoT! Talk to me, buildings!
    Useful data from connected devices will be in greater demand than ever as companies will need intelligence on how the facilities are being used, by whom and when. 
  • Smart/connected cities will now also feel a sense of urgency from their constituents to improve communication, emergency readiness, and also multiple modes of transportation.
  • Robotics and 3D printing will be in increasingly high demand. Now more than ever, the industry will look at solutions that help it become more efficient and less reliant on manual labor.
  • Platforms will finally emerge as dominant online leasing and trading tools all professionals use to conduct their business virtually and with speed/precision. Brokers in particular will be forced to use an end-to-end digital solution to complete a transaction from start to finish.

Note for startup founders:
1st step: Be around for the rebound. You must survive!
2nd step: There is no step 2. Survival is everything, so cash is king.
Cut down expenses, slow the burn rate down.
Strategic coaching.
Be transparent with your employees and partners.
Startups have the advantages of being agile and their speed of adaptability.

Please stay safe!

Your Julia ?


Digital maturity – or not

Well, maybe indeed not. The Digital Real Estate Index (DRE Index) calculated by consulting company pom+ based on data from 250 executives and real estate experts from Germany and Switzerland has in fact declined by 17%. At the same time, companies see themselves as more digital than the data suggests. This also differs by sub-industry: Architecture and construction companies consider themselves further along the digital transformation than property management and facility management companies do.

Some layoffs and more layoffs

Back in January, Compass, the third largest residential brokerage in the US, already laid off 40 people. Now another 375 (15% of total staff) have suffered the same fate. Over the next 6 months, Compass expects a 50% drop in revenues. CEO Robert Reffkin announced that he would forgo a salary, and that the executive team would take a 25 percent pay cut.

Robots to the rescue

Of course the pandemic doesn’t spell doom and gloom for all companies alike. To wit, US-based Xenex, which makes robots for cleaning rooms of germs, is seeing its orders surge. Their $125,000 apiece robots are already in use in more than 500 hospitals around the world, including a large recent shipping to Italy.

Impressing the largest client

Another way to still shine as a company right now is the time-honored one of already having already proven very useful to very large customers. This is why real estate deal flow management software company Dealpath has now received a strategic investment from Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative investment firm and Dealpath’s largest customer. People at Blackstone believe they can “help to shape the platform and fill in gaps from a product perspective to make the product better and more helpful” to them.

Pitching remotely

Events now tend to get canceled, postponed to nobody-really-knows-when, or go online. Luckily, the Builtworld Innovation Contest 2020 Israel Semi-Finalswent online with the slogan “from home – for free”. Last Tuesday saw pitches of the top PropTechs voted on by a jury which I had the honor to be part of, followed by their ConTech counterparts on Wednesday.


The Future Workplace

PropTech relevant content goes mainstream: The Times has published the 2020 edition of the Raconteur report The Future Workplace. It’s interesting to read also with the by now fairly obvious question in mind: What will these findings imply for the time after the current crisis? The report addresses a number of different topics in separate sections. Under the heading “Is tech making you lonely at work?” it provides statistics on how much of their work time people typically spend in different modes. Results include: 45% working alone, 30% collaborating in person, and 14% collaborating virtually. So tripling the latter should be on the cards now. Also covered is a survey which asked US workers about attributes of the best workplaces. The top choices were promoting team building and collaboration (43%) and supporting health and wellbeing (34%). By contrast, supporting experimentation with new ways of working came in at the bottom (14%) before the pandemic. That could easily change now too.



Proptech is growing in scale and importance in CRE
But how do property managers evaluate new tools?

There has to be a shedding of a rather too prevalent “amateur hour” approach
5 dimensions in real estate to pay attention to in 2020

Adoption of Internet of Things networks
Smart cities pick up the pace

Intelligent automation is coming
How will robots make buildings more human?

A small but growing number of tech companies are intendedly going “all-remote”
Are offices obsolete?

Potentially long-term trends
Why the Coronavirus outbreak could have a lasting impact on Asia Pacific real estate

Deals & cooperations

In North America, Canada-based Certn has raised $5 million in its seed round. The startup uses proprietary technology to predict customer behavior in order to reduce risk from  risk from credit and property portfolios. US-based Cloudbeds has closed a $82 million series C. They develop hospitality management software-as-a-service and already have a market presence in 115 countries. US-based Zumper has received $60 million in its series D. The company provides a solution for making binding applications and offers from smartphones immediately while viewing a property.

In the United Kingdom, Finch Capital, Latitude Ventures, and Oxx Capital have invested a total of £10 million in a series B round of Goodlord, which takes the rental process paperwork online for estate agents, landlords, and tenants. The company had to lay off people two years ago, but was able to double the number of employees last year. €14.9 million have gone to Pupil, bringing the company valuation to around €93.2 million. Pupil uses machine learning to create more accurate digital twins of buildings. Assetz Capital has raised £15 million to expand its business of providing alternative funding sources to SMEs and real estate developers. Smart lock company Proxy has closed a £34.5 million series B including Scale Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, and West Ventures, as well as previous investors Kleiner Perkins and Y Combinator.

In continental Europe, the French startup Beeldi has raised a €1.3 million seed round. It aims to centralize all field data like heating, air conditioning, electricity, etc. Also in France, Energiency has closed a €4.5 million round. The company provides performance analytics software allowing industry to save energy. Billon, which is based in Poland and provides blockchain solutions for document management and transactions, has raised a series A of €5.2 million. A remarkable series A of €30 million has been closed by Austrian startup PlanRadar. New investors are Insight Partners and The founders still hold a bit more than 50% of the company, which already has customers like construction companies and retail chains in 45 countries for its construction documentation and defect management solution.

In Asia, geographically beginning in Turkey, the home country of Apsiyon, a $5 million series A has been closed by the property management software company. In India, Singularity Automation is an IoT company focused on maximizing asset utilization and enhancing the customer experience of shared accommodation. The startup has now received $1.2 million in its seed round. Finally, a really huge deal has been pulled off by the Chinese real-estate brokerage platform Beike Zhaofang. Its series D+ came in at a whopping $2.41 billion. One billion of this was by SoftBank. Further investors included Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, and Sequoia Capital China.

UPDATE #03/20

March 2020


Dear Community,

enjoy the newsletter!
Wishing you a wonderful, relaxing & happy weekend ?

Your Julia

Biggest 3D printed building opens

It’s not the world’s tallest 3D printed building (the one opened in Suzhou, China already in 2015 still holds that record), but it’s the biggest one by volume, with 6,900 square feet, and it’s located in Dubai. Interestingly, the process there worked just fine without any air-conditioned tent around the construction site, and therefore without any control over temperature or humidity.

Autonomous construction machinery

Of course more traditional construction methods also get new technology. Built Robotics is now offering excavating equipment with GPS, LIDAR, and cameras for tasks like digging trenches or excavating foundations. The heavy machinery can be piloted remotely or operate fully autonomously. Remote control is possible by keyboard via a web platform (unlike other technologies which need joysticks or special controllers). In autonomous mode, the machines can communicate with other autonomous equipment on the construction site.

Most important cities in the future

Oxford Economics predicts that by 2035, 7 of the top 10 largest cities by population will be in Asia. The overall top 3 will be Jakarta, Tokyo, and Chongqing. From an economic perspective, 4 out of the top 10 by GDP will be in China (but the top 3 will be New York, Tokyo, and Los Angeles). In terms of pace of economic growth, all of the top 10 will be in Asia (top 3: Bengaluru, Dhaka, and Mumbai).

New European PropTech fund

The new VC fund A/O PropTech is fueled by €250 million of “permanent” capital, which is not expected to be paid back within a few years as is the case with many others. Therefore, this new fund can afford to be stage agnostic when choosing target companies technology companies disrupting real estate. The geographic focus will be mainly Europe, but can include Israeli or US companies if they also operate in Europe.

Growth for sustainability

Technologies aiding sustainability, these days also called “GretaTech”, are definitely a trend to be taken seriously, says says Nikolas Samios, Managing Partner of PropTech1 Ventures. But many per se valuable developments in the PropTech space will not be able to go it alone: The consolidation of complementary services into larger clusters and platforms is now also becoming a more important trend.

Smartphone tracking, extra large

The fact that smartphones get tracked certainly isn’t new. But now The New York Times has published an investigation of what is be far the largest such body of data journalist ever got to see, with more than 50 billion location pings across several major US cities. Even though the data is theoretically anonymous, it is easy to identify people with the help of other (publicly available) information: For example, one can see mobile phones visiting the estate of Arnold Schwarzenegger, then look at where those phones usually stay over night (where their owners live) and during office hours (where they work) etc. The journalists were able to follow military officials driving home, law enforcement officers taking their kids to school, and lawyers as well as their visitors. And all this data doesn’t come from government surveillance or giant companies – it’s from one of dozens comparatively small location data companies, which legally collect and sell such data.

Australia’s gets a PropTech association

While they keep reminding the world that they don’t have any kangaroos, Austrians have benefited from their PropTech association APTI for years. Now the land of kangaroos got one too: The Proptech Association of Australia, a not-for-profit trade association providing training, education and support to an estimated 260 to 480 PropTechs active in Australia.

From innovation to value

For its CRE Innovation Report 2020, Altus Group has surveyed 400 C-level and senior executives of commercial real estate owner operator and investor companies globally. By now, 80% of the surveyed firms have a Chief Data Officer or similar senior executive. 75% of the executives think that automation will eliminate jobs, with a bit fewer expecting the introduction of new job types (71%) and a shift towards higher value-add tasks (67%). 61% expect major disruption because of online marketplaces. So far, 63% have used lending marketplaces, 59% investment marketplaces, 52% leasing marketplaces, and 49% property exchanges. When asked about hurdles preventing data-driven decision making, regulatory requirements were mentioned most frequently (59%), followed by lack of internal capabilities (52%) and lack of normalized data formats (48%). All of these problems have actually become more pronounced since the predecessor study in 2015. The perceived lack of tools has however dropped slightly from 44% in 2015 to 37% now. You can download the full report.

From the Oxford Future of Real Estate Initiative at Saïd Business School, you can get a major update of their most downloaded report of 2017: PropTech 3.0. The new version is called PropTech 2020.



Proptech is growing in scale and importance in CRE
But how do property managers evaluate new tools?

There has to be a shedding of a rather too prevalent “amateur hour” approach
5 dimensions in real estate to pay attention to in 2020

Adoption of Internet of Things networks
Smart cities pick up the pace

Intelligent automation is coming
How will robots make buildings more human?

A small but growing number of tech companies are intendedly going “all-remote”
Are offices obsolete?

Potentially long-term trends
Why the Coronavirus outbreak could have a lasting impact on Asia Pacific real estate

Deals & cooperations

Intel Capital, the venture capital division of the tech giant, has been investing in startups for almost three decades. For the first time, however, it has now funded a PropTech. New York based Cherre received $16 million. The startup serves landowners and real estate investors by providing aggregated public and private data further enriched by artificial intelligence.

Seed rounds have been raised by US-based startup RentSpree ($2.3 million), which allows landlords and agents to collect and request rental applications online, as well as Flitdesk (around $1 million), which provides an all-in-one solution for managing offices in an app. Flitdesk is based in France.

In neighboring Switzerland, Archilyse has received a CHF 3 million Series A, with another CHF 1 million scheduled for mid-2020. Led by PropTech1 Ventures and co-led by SIX FinTech Ventures and Swiss Immo Lab AG, investors also included DeepTech Ventures, Ringier Digital Ventures and Zürcher Kantonalbank. The startup evaluates architectural characteristics and provides the analysis in the cloud with an API. A much bigger Series A of €30 million has been closed by Austrian PropTech PlanRadar. Its cloud software for construction projects is already being used in 45 countries. Jumping from Europe to America, OnSiteIQ got $4.5 million in its Series A. The company provides 360-degree imagery of construction projects. Another continent, another Series A: Indian startup Zvesta got $5.5 million. Its real estate recommender system is powered by artificial intelligence.

Notable Series C deals include $58 million for San Francisco based Molekule, which has developed a new kind of air purifier using nanotech instead of filters, and more than $2 million for India based Furlenco, which provides furniture and home decor through a rental model.

A Series F naturally commands a higher funding amount: $400 million in the case of Toast, the US-based mobile point of sale targeting restaurants and similar locations like bars. This puts the company’s valuation at nearly $5 billion, up from the $2.75 billion valuation of its $250 million Series E around a year ago.

Dealpath, which is used by real estate investors to simplify deal flow management, also got more funding. While the deal terms have not been disclosed, the really interesting aspect here is the investor: It’s Blackstone, the huge firm managing $140 billion of real estate private equity and investment assets.

In the sustainability space, three German PropTechs have each closed a 7-digit round. Three business angels as well as BitStone Capital invested in Aedifion (based in Cologne). For Kugu (based in Berlin), the investors were Wecken & Cie., IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, High Rise Ventures, and Eon Agile. Both startups are focused on increasing energy efficiency through data analysis. Meanwhile, synavision (based in Bielefeld) not only aims to digitally optimize buildings, but also to create a climate-neutral European building standard. The company was funded by CUT POWER AG and again BitStone Capital.

Two notable acquisitions: Managed by Q, hitherto owned by WeWork, now belongs to Eden. And in Switzerland, Valiant Bank, which already held a 38% stake in Agent Selly, is now taking over the majority.

An interesting merger has also been announced: Firepoint and Realvolve, two platforms with particular strengths in different parts of the client journey of real estate agents, will join forces.

UPDATE #02/20

February 2020



Dear PropTech Community,

I hope this message finds you well and you are as excited as I am to start the new year, well a new decade positively!
Today, my foreword won’t be about PropTech. I took the freedom to write about something that I truly care about – living a HaPpY life. ?
I assume the majority of my readers know about Clayton Christensen, the guru of disruptive innovation, a must-know theory.
Furthermore, he was considered an equally robust spiritual thinker.
He wrote: How Will You Measure Your Life?
A set of guidelines that have helped to find meaning in life.
Take your time to find cogent answers to three questions:
1. First, how can I be sure that I’ll be happy in my career?
2. Second, how can I be sure that my relationships with my spouse and my family become an enduring source of happiness?
3. Third, how can I be sure I’ll stay out of jail?
About 1. The powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.
About 2. Keeping the purpose of your life front and center and the clarity about your purpose will trump knowledge of academic theories. Your decisions about allocating your personal time, energy, and talent ultimately shape your life’s strategy.
About 3. Justification for infidelity and dishonesty in all their manifestations lies in the marginal cost economics of “just this once.”
The metric by which I will assess my life isn’t dollars but the individual people whose lives I’ve touched.
Think about the metric by which YOUR life will be judged, and make a resolution to live every day so that in the end, your life will be judged a success.
Today I will share with you one of my favorite quotes:
Your smile is your logo,
your personality is your business card,
how you leave others feeling after having an experience with
you becomes your trademark!
Your Julia ?


A bright future for space utilization monitoring

While Davos may generate its fair share of controversy, it certainly serves as a platform for industry leaders to voice their assessment of the status quo and provide an outlook. Christian Ulbrich, CEO of the second-largest commercial real estate services and brokerage firm in the world, is no stranger to this game. His company JLL also runs its own venture fund (JLL Spark), which has already made more than 20 investments out of over 1500 opportunities it has looked at. Based on all that experience, Ulbrich considers technologies that monitor space utilization as likely to have a particularly high impact in several respects: lowering costs, better employee experiences, and environmental aspects. His remark that “data is absolutely critical” for the firm may not surprise anyone, but he did give an interesting example: a camera technology tracking the movement of employees but simultaneously blurring their faces, thus anonymizing the data. More available here.


Big Brother is now even bigger

Of course not everybody wants to anonymize facial recognition data. In fact, more than 600 government agencies seem hell-bent on doing the exact opposite. A startup called Clearview AI, with investors including Peter Thiel and Kirenaga Partners, makes it easy. With the help of a database of more than three billion images scraped from various websites like Facebook and YouTube, it matches photos of unknown people with their online images, often de-anonymizing them. Exercise for the reader: Think about the future of commercial real estate like shopping centers.


Live in a shopping mall

It’s an old joke that some people practically live in shopping malls. Guess what, now you really can, starting at only $550 a month. And it’s not just any old mall either, but in fact the oldest one in America: The Westminster Arcade in Providence, Rhode Island, has been converted into micro lofts (225 to 300 square feet). But rest assured, the first floor still serves as commercial space, so you really won’t have to go far. The bad news: There is already a waiting list. Where is the tech connection? Well, a major reason why shopping malls are under pressure in the first place is online shopping. So this can serve as a kind of PropTech-counterexample: new technology necessitating no/low tech changes in real estate.


Change virtually

Tired of queuing up in front of your favorite apparel store’s changing rooms? Enter virtual changing rooms, which allow you to scan an item in a store and see how it fits you without actually having to put it on. Bill Simon, a former CEO of Walmart U.S., cites this as an example for technology about to have a much bigger impact on brick-and-mortar retail than many people realize today. Another example is the digital checkout. But wait … given online shopping, why did you go to the store at all?


New York City gets more modular

While so far only 5% of all commercial construction in the US is modular, new developments in New York City show where the field is heading. Challenges include getting all the players on board (especially from financing), but also questions of reputation. But the upside can be tangible: In one case, the use of the technology reportedly allowed the project to be completed 8 months earlier.


ConTech startups to watch

McKinsey partner Jose Luis Blanco says the construction tech space got funding to the tune of $27 billion since 2008. In addition to the two well-known unicorns Katerra and Procore, there are quite a few startups which seem promising, doing things like bringing construction finance online, turning normal construction vehicles into autonomous ones, noticing mistakes in construction with the help of laser scanning and machine learning, connecting construction workers directly not only with administrators but also with project stakeholders, building sustainable prefabricated homes, and 3D printing. More details here.


Building green and affordable

ESG is certainly a huge trend, but not all skeptics have been completely convinced yet. Perhaps they should read a new publication by PwC, which looks at how green affordable housing not only has benefits (obviously) for the local population concerned, but also for global real estate investors. Do recession-proof returns and a safeguard alongside investments in highly priced cities sound good? The study relates the trend to both greenhouse gas emissions and consumer price index statistics. From an investment point of view, the fact that the socially certainly deplorable problem of income inequality cannot be fixed quickly means that the market for affordable housing is set to grow further. And it’s a market spanning practically all continents (yes, including Europe and North America). The PDF can be downloaded from the PwC website.

Deals & cooperations

Australian hotel software company SiteMinder is now valued at $750 million (around 1.08 billion Australian dollars) after a $70 million round managed by BlackRock. SiteMinder intends to increase hiring and distribution in Europe and Asia.

A $30 million Series B for Life House was led by Thayer Ventures and included Tiger Global, JLL Spark, Sound Ventures as well as follow-on investments from Global Founders Capital, Comcast Ventures, and Trinity Ventures, among others. Life House provides a significantly cheaper than usual hotel tech stack geared towards boutique hotels.

London-headquartered PropTech Planet Smart City brings its total amount raised up to €100m with its latest round of £20.5 million. Its Planet app not only lets residents of its communities manage the smart solutions in their area, but also facilitates social innovation programs.

Enterprise visitor management software provider Proxyclick has announced a $15 million Series B round led by Five Elms Capital and including previous investor JOIN Capital. They focus on physical security and compliance at 7000 locations worldwide but place an emphasis on not sacrificing data privacy in the process.

UK PropTech company LandTech, which was originally called LandInsight, has received a £2.5 million investment from JLL Spark. The valuation is estimated to be nearing £100m. After LandTech’s first product, a development site-sourcing platform, the new money will now support its second product, “a searchable archive of millions of planning applications and policy documents”. LandTech will also use the money as well as JLL’s global reach and client network to expand internationally from its current client base of over 1500 SMEs and 9 out of 10 of the UK’s top house builders.
Helaba Digital has made an investment in Arabesque S-Ray, which uses Big Data and AI to provide sustainability ratingsfor more than 7000 companies worldwide. Earlier investors have included Allianz X, Commerz Real, DWS and the State of Hesse. Heleba points out that the investment also fits well with its previous activities aimed at sustainability, and sees particular synergies in the context of sustainability assessments as criteria for future investment and credit decisions.

Construction finance software provider Built Technologies acquires in order to become “the first full-stack construction finance platform to provide solutions for all key stakeholders involved in the construction finance process”.’s CEO Geoff Arnold will lead the newly created division Built for Contractors, with the platform as its first product.

HousingAnywhere, which already boasts users in 60 countries, takes the next step in its European expansion by taking over Studenten-WG, which currently has around 3 million users, compared to HousingAnywhere’s 8 million. In true PropTech spirit, the combined platform will permit both online apartment “visits” and rent payments. Professional users benefit from API integrations.

A big deal in Switzerland: BrickMark from the Crypto Valley purchases the commercial building Bahnhofstrasse 52 in Zurich from the German RFR Holding for 130 million Swiss francs. Around 20 percent of that are set to be paid in BrickMark tokens, which would make this the largest transaction so far on the blockchain.

Blue Minds is starting a new investment vehicle called Build & Invest, which will focus on the fields of PropTech, energy, and mobility. The idea is to grow this into a cooperation with established companies as co-investors. The name Build & Invest reflects a claim to provide more hands-on company-building support than most investors.

UPDATE #01/20

January 2020


Dear PropTech Community,
It is with great pleasure that I wish everyone a happy 2020! This last year has been a great one for me personally and professionally and things are only looking up. As we look at the year ahead I am particularly excited for the direction the world is taking. I know, you must be thinking I am the only one with this view. With all of the news about contentious politics, economic inequality and environmental concerns, it certainly feels like we are on a downward slope. But, from what I have seen talking to innovators in the property and PropTech industries, we are on the edge of a big change, one that will shape our world for the better. 


Even more strangely, my optimism has nothing to do with technology, although I will say that there is some amazing stuff being developed right now. I am optimistic for the future because of what I have seen in the business world. It is more apparent today than ever before that a company’s strong proposition on social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and corporate ethics are becoming more and more important to both investors and consumers. It is as if the world has started to place more importance on what a company IS rather than only what it does.


ESG (or Environmental, Social, and Governance) is one of the main trends that we are watching at PwC because of the increasing weight being placed on it. The real estate industry consumes 40% of all energy globally, emits 30% of total carbon dioxide, and uses 40% of all raw materials.. So if we want to make progress in the looming climate crisis, our first order of business needs to be radical change across the real estate business. How a company or investment consumes energy, interacts with natural resources, and handles its waste are main factors in accounting for its environmental footprint. Social impact includes a company’s interface with the community and other institutions, how it conducts business in a broader social context, and even its labor relations. The final component, a company’s governance, includes its internal culture and ethics, whether or not it adheres to the laws and regulations, promotes diversity, and considers all stakeholders in decision-making protocols.

Please read the full article here


Many outlooks

2020 begins and prophecies and predictions are in full swing. Where will PropTech money go this year and have we already reached the summit, Deidre Woollard of millionacres asks himself here. Lisa Brown of meanwhile presents 10 ideas that will shape the PropTech business in 2020. From a real estate agent’s point of view, EstateAgent wonders what the next decade will bring and showhouse lists the hottest issues for 2020.


Responsibility as a trend

Is responsibility a new trend following sustainability? It doesn’t matter. Because it’s all about the content. If they are positive, that justifies every trend. Recently there have been more and more activities and publications on ESG factors – environmental, social and governance. Savills calls it one of the big topics for 2020. There is a very good paper on the subject from RICS, and MIPIM will also be dealing with the topic in March.


The 8th unicorn

Highest respect goes to Fifth Wall ! Their investment ClassPass has become a unicorn. Congratulations to Payal Kadakia Pujji and Fritz Lanman! This is now the eighth (!) unicorn from Fifth Wall after OpendoorHippo InsuranceVTS, IncBlend LabsLimeLoggi and Allbirds.


Europe is catching up

Of course, PropTechs make you think of Silicon Valley, New York and the whole United States. However, CRETECH recently stated that Europe is becoming more and more important globally. In line with this, $1.98 billion have been invested in European PropTechs in 2019. The largest investment was almost 100 million; Goldman Sachs invested in a modular construction company.


DreSo steps on the gas

New year, new commitment: Drees & Sommer is acquiring a majority stake (just under 75 percent) of digitales bauen, a long-term cooperation partner specializing in modular construction with a high degree of prefabrication. The method allows extremely sophisticated architectural designs to be translated into modules.


New forum at light+building

BUILTWORLD – known for the Real Estate Innovation Forum at Expo Real – expands the innovation ecosystem to include construction and building technologies and organizes the BUILTWORLD INNOVATION FORUM at light+building with a six-day conference program and more than 50 startups on Tech Alley.


The price does not matter, it must be compatible!

The main problems with the digital transformation of construction are missing technical standards and compatibility, according to the results of a survey in Germany commissioned by Alasco. Another result: The price plays only a minor role in the selection of software; what really counts is the (uncomplicated) integration into existing IT systems. Why do the project developers, property developers and general contractors surveyed still want to go digital? Because it increases their efficiency and competitiveness, according to the study‘s declared motivation.

Deals & cooperations

Perch is now called Orchard and has $36 million more in the bank. Navitas was the lead investor of the financing; FirstMark Capital, Juxtapose and Accomplice were also involved. The start-up from New York helps clients to buy a new home before they have even sold their old one. If the old one doesn’t go, Orchard promises to buy it.

ClassPass already boasts an E-series, receiving $285 million, making it the first unicornin the new decade! ClassPass is a platform for cross-studio booking of fitness courses and wellness treatments.

There are also other markets where something is happening. In Brazil, Vulcan Capital (as the leader) invested $175 million in the PropTech Loft – a platform that integrates all parties involved in property ownership. Another solution from this South American country is Housi. The Airbnb-like tool has received US$11 million in funding. By the way, the market we are talking about is 220 million inhabitants and for some products, apparently better than, say, the US, as is nicely explained here.

Umdasch Ventures is buying into NeoTwin, who call themselves experts in life cycle digitalization. To be more precise, it is an integrated, 100 percent BIM-capable tool for asset and project managers; they will receive various key figures as a decision-making aid. Umdasch Ventures has purchased 51 percent of the shares.

Buildium is a classic property management software, but it is state-of-the-art when it comes to the digital world. Since December, Buildium has a new owner called RealPage Inc. – a company that already has a whole portfolio of property management tools.

Boston-based Proptech HqO will receive $34 million. The start-up company develops platforms for commercial tenants and users. This is a B-round, with the money coming from Insight Partners.

Some are doing crowd investing, others know their way around the Blockchain. Sure, it all fits together! That’s why KlickOwn and Bitbond have entered into a strategic partnershipwith the aim of issuing tokenized real estate bonds.

UPDATE #10/19

December 2019


Dear PropTech Community,

thank you very much for being part of my community and taking your time to read the newsletter!

2019 was an amazing year for PropTech: The real estate industry is the biggest business sector in the world according to global GDP and the emerging tech sector has resulted in over 7,000 funded startups and over $25 billion in investments in 2019, doubled from 2018.

We see more M&A activities and great PropTech exits like Procore acquires Honest Buildings , Real Capital Analytics  acquires Datscha and YES CRE:Tech acquires FUTURE:PropTech  today – what a journey ?
Thank you Gary & Michael and can’t wait to see the joint forces in place for 2020!

Now the holiday season is around the corner and a new year. I would like to ask you for a favor: Please close your eyes for 20 seconds and reflect what you love and what makes YOU HaPpY. I meet people around the globe trying to achieve x,y…but always keep in mind what YOU already have and nurture your current relationships, with your business partners, friends & family as well.

If YOU don’t take care about yourself, you can’t be there for others. I like pictures and each time I fly the stewardess is saying that in case of emergency you must put the ventilation mask on yourself and then help your family members (kids).

One of my favorite quotes: Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling, after having an experience with you becomes your TRADEMARK!

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all a HaPpY Holiday season and a wonderful start into the new year 2020

Your Julia ?


Weworked: Money for fixing it

Graphics currently circulating on the net, showing real estate with a “Weworked” logo, are rather vicious. But indeed, this is not an easy time for the company. Suddenly not everything under the brand is shining and flashing any more. The Spacious chain (co-working based on a restaurant), which was bought four months ago, has now been closed. General opinion is suddenly tipping. What was previously (erroneously) hyped into the sky is now being labelled as a false concept along with all other co-working providers. What nonsense! So it’s good that there are also rays of hope: Goldman Sachs has approved a credit line of USD 1.75 billion for the Softbank Group to rescue the Wework Disaster in early December.

Unissu launches TED-Talk-like content

Global proptech platform Unissu starts with a new info format borrowing from the well-known TED talks. A total of 180 free videos will be shot in which experts talk about the future and technology of real estate. The whole thing is sponsored by JLL and M7 Structura.

China as a Blockchain pioneer

It is well known that fromer US President George H.W. Bush caused a scandal by saying that he does not like broccoli. In China, the current ruler Xi Jinping did not speak out against vegetables in October, but in favour of blockchain technology. As a consequence, the crypto markets shot skywards. Europe and the United States must now be careful not to fall by the wayside. See for example here.


Tenants would like to be more digital

Which digital requirements do office tenants have and how fit are office buildings in the CEE region for technological change? A study by CBRE has investigated this. The report is divided into two parts: the Proptech Index evaluates the technological equipment of office buildings in the CEE region and in Austria, focusing on energy and efficiency as well as tenant experience and security. The Proptech Survey analyses the digital solutions and the demands placed on them by office users.

Results include: Already 34% of the respondents in the CEE region use digital functions to order lunch at the office at least once a month, 17% book or check available conference rooms, only 3% reserve their desks. When asked about their wishes, 46% of respondents would like to control environmental factors such as lighting and heating individually and digitally, 33% would like to book or check the conference room and 25% would like to reserve their desk.

More generally, the study also states that reality does not yet reflect the wishes of employees. You can get the Proptech Survey here.

And again: Discrepancy

Another study which comes to the conclusion that there is a gap between desires and reality in the use of real estate technology. This time it’s all about housing companies. 15 major players have been surveyed in “Residential Proptech Effects”. On average, these companies carried out 4.7 pilot projects with proptechs and took a closer look at 16.7 proptechs. 2.5 iof the deas have actually been implemented. In comparison, really large companies (with over 25,000 housing units) looked at more, tried more, but ultimately did not implement any more. Study author Thomas Wenzel of Bell Management Consultants (BMC) concludes that there is a lot of talk about proptech, but the implementation is still quite a challenge.

Deals & cooperations

Hometap offers an alternative to the classic home loan. Investors like this, they put USD 100 million into the US company. Who exactly? Backers included Iconiq Capital as well as existing investors General Catalyst, G20, Pillar and American Family Ventures.

Juniper Square is one of the largest investment platforms for commercial real estate. Redpoint Ventures, with the participation of Ribbit Capital, Felicis Ventures and Zigg Capital, have invested $75 million in the platform in a Series C round.

Thing Technologies can look forward to €4.2 million. The financing was led by Proptech1 Ventures and coparion. The existing shareholders also participated.

Reonomy, the data platform for commercial real estate with artificial intelligence, will receive $60 million in a series D. The main investor is Georgian Partners.

And once again Signa Innovations strikes. This time, the donor has invested a single-digit million sum in realxdata. French company Ventech was the partner financier.

ABS Capital Partners led an investment in construction data analysis specialist Sevan Multi-Site Solutions. The deal was worth USD 17.5 million.

Enabling data-based decisions for investors is the goal of Entera, which initially focuses on the housing market. Led by Bullpen Capital and Craft Ventures, $7.5 million has now been invested in the platform. Entera also promises investors significantly more investment opportunities.

In a few days, IT group Aareon will take over CalCon. CalCon can evaluate the condition of existing real estate and automatically determine renovation costs. It is a spin-off from Fraunhofer.

UPDATE #9/19

November 2019


Dear PropTech Community,

we FerdiJörg and I from the Austrian PropTech Initiative had another amazing PropTech Vienna event.

I participated at the MIPIM PropTech NYC, moderating a panel about AI and it was great to have Sascha Donner from EVANA on stage with me. Thanks to Aaron Block from I was part of the jury committee again and handed out the Global PropTech Awards to:

Top Founder
Chase Garbarino from HqO

Top Technology Award Branch Technology
Top Executive Jonathan Wassersturm from SquareFoot
Top Innovator Reonomy
Top Investor Brad Greiwe from Fifth Wall
Top Association Holland ConTech & PropTech

Once per year we have our PwC EMEA Clients conference and this year it was again in Paris and over 400 of our most prestigious clients participated e.g. BlackRock, Brookfield, Prologis, Blackstone, CBRE, Segro, Greystar, Nuveen, Starwood – the C-Suite of the who is who in Real Estate!

Besides my role as the Global Digital Real Estate Leader at PwC, I am also part of the EMEA Leadership team and we celebrated all the accomplishments of my dear colleague Susanne Eikermann-Riepe. I also moderated a panel with Fifth Wall.
Keep in mind real estate is about people and I am very grateful to have amazing colleagues at PwC like Craig HughesChristine CatastaBodowin BittnerOlena Chekmezova and many more!

Stay HaPpY & Healthy!
All the very best,


New venture capitalist

M7 Structura is a new venture capital firm investing in PropTechs. At the end of November, it announced that it would launch its first fund and use it to invest capital in seed and Series A financings.

The M7 Structura team will be led by Conan Lauterpacht. Lauterpacht has experience in developing technology in the real estate industry as an operator and investor in start-ups and established companies. He is a board member of Aprao, a real estate development valuation platform, previously Head of Corporate Venturing at the Altus Group and an active business angel. And who is M7? M7 Real Estate is a pan-European investor and asset manager specializing in multi-let real estate with assets under management of approximately €4.7 billion. The company has also developed its own software, which has been run as an independent company under the name Coyote since 2017.

In Germany there is also a new support programme from Fond-of (actually a bag company). The founder trio Oliver Steinki, Florian Michajelzko and Sven-Oliver Pink, together with McKinsey Company, the law firm Kühn Lüer Wojtek and the High-Tech-Gründerfond, want to start an accelerator programme called xdeck from 2020. Here, too, an early development phase is planned, with PropTechs as part of the target group.

Connectivity as a location factor

The US commercial real estate platform Spacelist has now integrated WiredScore. This may sound moderately exciting, but it is relevant to see how quickly digital connectivity becomes a location factor. WiredScore evaluates buildings internationally on exactly these aspects. In Europe, too, there are already digitally certified properties.

Order lunch via the tenant app

spaceOS launched a Tenant Experience App for Commerz Real in Warsaw in November. It allows employees to do all kinds of things, such as book rooms, report damage to facility management, get support, and via a marketplace even order food from the food trucks coming every day. Access control is also handled via the app. All in all a great thing, but “this is just the beginning,” says Maciej Markowski, CEO of spaceOS. The app is intended to be successively expanded, strengthen the community, simplify communication between landlord and tenant and make the use of the building both efficient and pleasant.

Co-Mix as an asset class

“The Highline at Union Market” is a 32,000 square metre mixed-use new building, a mix of co- and micro living, combined with a wide range of high-end fitness and yoga studios. There is also a co-working facility with a shared infinity pool with barbecue and generous lounge areas. On the ground floor there are small retail areas with offers tailored to the target group. The W5 Group, the investment vehicle of Ralph Winter’s Family Office, based in Miami, New York and Zug, has started to build its INNOVATIVE LIVING portfolio with the acquisition of a newly constructed building in Washington, D.C. with more than 500 beds.

PropTech employees from other industries

Catella has interviewed 283 PropTechs to find out the status quo of the PropTech industry in Germany. The average number of employees at PropTechs currently ranges from 13 to 16, and their average age is 29 years. Only about 8 percent of the companies surveyed have moved since the company was founded. The PropTech hotspots in Germany are Berlin, followed by Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

Another interesting result is that most employees do not come from the real estate industry itself. Not even a third were active in the industry prior to their current job and only 21 percent had completed relevant training, such as a degree in real estate management, before that. 70 percent said they worked in a co-working space or an innovation centre. Here you can download the study.

How much does one earn at a start-up?

And another study on HR in start-ups: VC Earlybird and Kienbaum have investigated how much one actually earns in start-ups, as the image of the exploited employee generally prevails. That’s not true at all. Initially, in the seed and series A phase, founders and non-founders are pretty much the same. After that (Series B and C) things look worse for the founders, they get a lower salary on average. Then the whole thing turns around again and the founders are ahead. In comparison to the old economy, you also have to differentiate according to the degree of maturity of the start-ups. In fact, the average salary at the beginning of the business is significantly lower than in the traditional economy. However, it rises rapidly over time and adapts to the old economy level. You can read the details on Gründerszene.

Deals & cooperations

Enabling data-based decisions for investors is the goal of Entera, which initially focuses on the housing market. Led by Bullpen Capital and Craft Ventures, $7.5 million has now been invested in the platform. Entera also promises investors significantly more investment opportunities.

Juniper Square is one of the largest investment platforms for commercial real estate. Redpoint Ventures, with the participation of Ribbit Capital, Felicis Ventures and Zigg Capital, have invested $75 million in the platform in a Series C round.

Thing Technologies can look forward to €4.2 million. The financing was led by Proptech1 Ventures and coparion. The existing shareholders also participated.

Reonomy, the data platform for commercial real estate with artificial intelligence, will receive $60 million in a series D. The main investor is Georgian Partners.

Plentific receives $32 million in a series B. AO Proptech was the main investor in the real estate management solution from London. The money will be used to fund geographic expansion in Europe and, from 2020, also in the USA.

Temporary solutions benefit from intelligent access solutions. So it makes sense that Kiwi and kawaloo are cooperating, which they are now doing. Kiwi manufactures keyless access systems, while kawaloo is a marketplace of garages, warehouses, cellars, etc. for temporary storage solutions.

The following organizations have gathered $25 million to invest in Eden, a workplace management platform, as part of a series B round: Reshape had the lead, and Fifth Wall Ventures, Mitsui Fudosan, RXR Realty, Thor Equities, Bessemer Venture Partners, Alate Partners, Quiet Capital, S28 Capital, Canvas Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Upshift Partners, Impala Ventures, ENIAC Ventures and Crystal Towers also invested.

UPDATE #8/19

October 2019


Dear PropTech Community,

I am delighted to share with you my highlights of the last couple of weeks:
Exiting times, two of my favorite VC funds MetaProp , the #1 by number of PropTech investments 115+  and  Fifth Wall , the #1 by AUM over $1bn are up to amazing things – keep an eye on them!

Their portfolio companies have some overlaps e.g. Enertiv & Urbint and also their LP’s e.g. CBRE …why I am saying this, because PropTech is also about collaboration and integration.

If you are a PropTech in fundraising mood, check out the amazing CRE:Tech Leadership Board.

I just spend a couple of days in NYC and met several cool people & PropTechs at the CRE:Teche NYC event e.g. Chunker  for short-term warehouse space, Cherre  a AI platform that connects & analyzes all of your real estate data and Proxy your identity signal for everything like mobile access. Especially great was it to listen to thought leaders in several areas of the growing PropTech ecosystem e.g. to Lisa Picard, EQ Office (Blackstone) about the future of work or William O’Donnell, Prologis about the demands in the industrial space. Thank you Michael Beckerman!

If you are interested in ConTech, check out the winners of the 52 ConTech pitches that I was listening to BUILTWORLD.

PS I stole this quote from one of my favorite authors Mark Twain


Real way, virtual world

Boring way to work? That can be changed. With Microsoft’s VR glasses DreamWalker you can follow real paths, but with these glasses you can experience a virtual world. The product is still in the development phase, but it already stimulates a lot of fantasies about what you could use it for.

New funds, new money

Brick & Mortar Ventures has launched a new fund with over $100 million in assets. LPs include Autodesk, CEMEX, Ferguson Ventures, FMI, Hilti, Obayashi and Sidewalk Labs (yes, the ones from Google). The creator behind the fund is Darren Bechtel, the offspring of a building contractor clan. His family owns Bechtel, the largest US construction and plant engineering company. The capital is to be invested exclusively in construction tech start-ups.

Flat-sharing competition

A new platform, which brings flat seekers and landlords together, wants to have a piece of the German market. badi is already active in Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and London, and now the flat sharing marketplace platform, which wants to deliver better results with AI, wants to gain a foothold in the German-speaking area.


As you know, I love infographics and tables. Here is one about the current ecosystem of ConTechs, nicely divided into individual categories. The well-known Accelerator programs Plug & Play and Colliers International powered by Techstars are now also active in the PropTech area. Have a look at the links, then you can check batches.

Secret Deals

Often sellers have properties in their portfolio that cannot be listed on platforms for various reasons. Thus they have a problem with making their offer known, as the boys from findheim believe. So they have created a product for it: Secret Deals – a secure 1:1 communication channel with users who are currently looking for exactly such objects.

Who would have thought: Africa!

No, not everything is happening in New York, Shanghai and Berlin. An entire continent is often forgotten and it could unfold its potential thanks to innovation: Yes, I’m talking about Africa. At the beginning of October, a platform for the PropTech ecosystem of the entire continent was presented in Johannesburg. The specially developed app contains a start-up directory.

Intelligent window

A different take on the smart home: In Australia, researchers are working on a window coating that can change based on the seasons. In winter it lets heat in, in summer it is blocked. Die Welt has a short video here.


More investments are expected

Interesting findings from MetaProp’s semi-annual survey: 64% of PropTech investors want to invest even more in the next 12 months than in the last 12 months. This intention has never been so high. Even the start-ups themselves are confident. 80% believe that it will be equally difficult or even easier to get funding. The interviewees also assume that there will continue to be many pitches. That and much more in the Mid-Year 2019 Global PropTech Confidence Index.

Deals & cooperations

Deals & Cooperations

realxdata and control.IT have agreed to cooperate. In the future, data from realxdata can be accessed via the asset and portfolio management software from control.IT.

Hm, one could sublet vacant space to one-person-businesses, start-ups or small companies, right? Yes, says Share Your Space and has made it a business model. Commerz Real likes that, so it bought 25% of Share Your Space.

Disperse closed a Series A round. The company was financed to the tune of $15 million. At the forefront was Northzone, and Revolt Ventures, Kindred, and Frontline also participated. Disperse provides solutions to monitor construction sites and progress.

The smart home start-up Level Home receives $71 million from Walmart. Level Home provides digital access solutions by connecting locks with smartphones.

In a Series A round, Building Radar collected €5 million. Participants included coparion, FO Holding, PropTech1 Ventures and SIGNA Innovations. The start-up’s database offers an analysis of new construction projects that are automatically and intelligently researched.

Apcoa Parking and Deutsche Telekom announced a strategic cooperation. Specifically, the Apcoa Flow driveway system is to be linked to Park & Joy (which displays free parking spaces in public and private spaces and can also charge for them) by Deutsche Telekom.

Immowelt is now completely owned by Axel Springer, who have been extraordinarily active in recent weeks. First, the media group acquired the remaining 45% of Immowelt via its subsidiary, the Aviv Group, making it the sole owner. In addition, Axel Springer acquired another French real estate portal – MeilleursAgents. The German group already holds stakes in SeLoger and Logic-Immo.

UPDATE #7/19

Summer 2019


Dear PropTech Community,

I hope you all had an amazing, healthy & happy summer and you are fit to survive the high seasons of events!

Well, like last year, my family & I spend some time in California again, amazing to experience first hand the strong PropTech ecosystem over there e.g. checkout measurablbuilt robotics & betterview.

Back in Europe I attended two workshops organized by the founder of BUILTWORLD  Wolfgang Moderegger & his great team e.g. Jonas Haberkorn , the first for commercial ‘smart office buildings’ and we did a side visit of the  cube where they incorporated several PropTech tools e.g. thing-it and navvis . The second was for residential ‘smart home’ and we inspected gleispark – interesting project, where a garage is half developed to smart micro apartments and the rent for 24 square meters is €1000 warm. Several PropTech tools where used to offer the inhabitants all comfort via their app e.g. sensorberg . The first layer are the PropTech tools and whatever the cost for the SaaS fee will be, the same amount should be the savings in communication, operating expenses. The second layer are all the multiservices e.g. dry cleaner, car sharing etc. and then the third layer will be to monetize the data to develop new business models…the future is here.


PS I am looking forward to meet you all at the upcoming BUILTWORLD event, come & listen to our keynote speech from Brendan of Fifth Wall at our  PwC  booth 120 in the new Innovation hall A3 on Monday, October 7th, 2019 at 10am!


IPOs: Just don’t hurry!

Whenever a company goes public, there are always rumors. If it’s wework and Airbnb, then this information is even more compelling because it can trigger global hysteria thanks to networks. This is when it’s important not to rush things. As everyone has probably noticed, the IPO of wework could be postponed – although SoftBank would like to buy shares worth US$ 750 million, as the current main shareholder has announced. However, the less than overwhelming figures that wework just had to disclose have not yet convinced the others. Then there is CEO Adam Neumann. Airbnb does not want to rush into action either, the IPO is to be completed in the course of 2020. In the meantime, the company has announced the purchase of Urbandoor, an intermediary platform for medium and long-term B2B tenants.


Google wants to enter buildings

Everyone wants to know more about the behavior of building occupants because that knowledge is assumed to be a raw material for future business models. And Google wants to do the same. With Google Nest, the company wants to position itself as an integrator of various smart home applications. The recently announced intention to launch a Nest Mini Smartspeaker is another piece of this puzzle. It will remain exciting what Google is up to!


Colliers-Accelerator participants published

Ten startups from around the world come together in Toronto to participate in the “Proptech Accelerator” program. The startups of the “Class of 2019” of the “Proptech Accelerator Powered by Techstars” by Colliers have now been introduced. This year, hundreds of applications have been received from over 50 countries. This shows the strong growth of the Proptech sector, which is located at the intersection of technology and real estate. The ten participants of 2019 come from six countries and cover a wide range of solutions, including Quant Valuation and Investing, Crowdfunding, Asset Fractionalization, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Augmented/Virtual Reality. All participants are briefly described here.


Optimized marketing process for condominiums

The new CoPlannery platform optimizes the marketing process of condominiums and, with its growing database, shows the concrete needs of prospective buyers for apartment and room sizes transparently and in real time to the property developer. CoPlannery has been developed by technology and real estate experts Nadir Benkhellouf (formerly RatePAY and BillPay), Thomas Gawlitta (co-founder of the commercial real estate platform Immobilienscout 24) and Jakob Pupke (media information technologist and tech programmer) and has been launched in August 2019.


No plan

This study unfortunately confirms once again that while most real estate companies understand how fundamentally the digital transformation will change things, most still have no idea/strategy how to deal with data. According to the fourth digital transformation study by ZIA and EY Real Estate, most still lack a strategy.


Home office is increasingly tolerated

Women are more open to the “home office” than men, but age does not matter: “digital natives” appreciate the freedom to work at home no more than older respondents do. The majority (57 percent) have no problem with opening the boundaries between work and private life and see the “home office” model as an opportunity. This is the result of a recent survey conducted by Integral Markt- und Meinungsforschung in Austria on behalf of ImmobilienScout24.

The logical consequence of this mindset: Coworking Spaces are popping up like mushrooms. According to Deskmag’s Global Coworking Survey 2019, the market grew by 20% last year. By the end of this year, 2.2 million people will be working in coworking environments.

Deals & cooperations

RWTH Aachen is the birthplace of HoloBuilder, which was then still called Bitstarts – a solution for documenting construction progress. The company made the leap to the United States and now there are new investors: NRW-Bank, Foundamental and Eon.

While wework wants to make money on the stock exchange (see above) its competitor Industrious was able to book US$ 80 million for itself, which brings the total funding of the coworking start-up to as much as US$ 220 million. Competitor Knotel also receives US$ 400 million – first and foremost from Wafra in Kuwait.

Oyo wants to enter the European market. EUR 300 million has been earmarked for this, 10 million of which has allegedly been used for the acquisition of the Danish data science company Danamica. Oyo is involved in the hotel industry and the Danamica tools could help with dynamic pricing. Competitor RedDoorz from Singapore has received US$ 70 million in a series C. Investors are Asia Partners with Rakuten Capital and Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund.

Sensorberg, Jäger Direkt (manufacturer of electrotechnical solutions) and iQ Intelligentes Wohnen (innovative project developer) have agreed to cooperate. Together they want to advance the digital transformation and automation in and of real estate. A joint project will be realized next year. The partnership will be officially launched at EXPO REAL (Sensorberg booth A3.135).

At Lendinvest, people in Great Britain find property financing. Here Lendinvest is the market leader. National Australia Bank likes this, which is why it is investing EUR 216 million.

Brick & Mortar Ventures can look forward to over US$ 97.2 million. The money for the venture fund, which invests in the construction, planning, maintenance and management of real estate, comes mainly from Ardex, Autodesk and CEMEX.

Outfoxed. Clutter buys self-storage provider The Storage Fox for US$ 152 million. Clutter itself offers service and storage, one can have everything picked up from home without moving a finger – well, at most to click.

Technology that automatically tracks what people pack at the supermarket and then charges for it – that’s the business model of Trigo from Tel Aviv. In a series A, Trigo has received US$ 22 million from Red Dot Capital and existing investors Vertex Ventures Israel and Hetz Ventures have followed with US$ 7 million.

Remote transmission, automation and media-break-free data exchange – this is the basis for modern heating and operating cost calculation. Energy supplier inteligy, metering service provider Kalorimeta (Kalo) and software company Domus have agreed to work together to standardize data exchange necessary for this.

Art-Invest Real Estate and BitStone Capital take a five percent stake in Architrave, while at the same time Art-Invest uses Architrave’s LifeCycle Data Room for its 120 managed properties.

Fieldwire gets US$ 33.5 million in fresh capital. Menlo Ventures has led the round, followed by Brick & Mortar Ventures, the Hilti Group and Formation 8. Fieldwire bridges the gap between the office and the construction site by allowing everyone involved in a construction project to track and coordinate work from any device.