AI-powered Property Raptor to launch in the UK
After working with some big-hitting clients like Chestertons, JLL, Century 21 and Savills, the Hong Kong-based proptech Property Raptor has formally announced its UK launch.
The firm behind an AI-powered “matching” CRM, which pairs prospective clients with properties through desktops and smartphones, will be backed by IMS Digital Ventures, which is part of the IMS Group.
Justin Lau, CEO of Property Raptor: “With the UK and global market facing a great deal of uncertainty, and the cost of living crisis a growing burden, agents need to be hot on their client relationships and processes to close deals. But many are getting bogged down with laborious tasks.
“Outdated records, lost or siloed data and time-consuming manual processes lead to so much wasted time – and these methods are still far more common than you would think,” Lau continued. “It was clear to me that these inefficiencies in the real estate industry were a source of great frustration among agents and loss of revenue among agencies – let alone resulting in end clients being under serviced. By breaking into the UK proptech market, we hope to address each of the pain points faced by the industry and transform operations – all while providing a seamless user journey for agents and buyers.”
Anastasios Papadopoulos, CEO IMS Digital Ventures: “Implementing the right technology can unleash new business potential. So, for the UK proptech scene, this is a fantastic move by Property Raptor, opening up the sector to a range of world-class tech. This will empower real estate agents to better match properties to clients, close deals more easily and, ultimately, allow them to navigate and scale during any downturn. Crucially, it will allow agencies to gain that competitive edge – at a competitive price too.”
US NEWS: Wreno Raises $5M in Seed Funding Led by Lerer Hippeau
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wreno, a cutting-edge proptech platform that trains and connects workers and trade partners with institutional real estate companies, today announced that it has raised $5 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau with participation from Fifth Wall, Owl Ventures, NFX, among others. The round’s angel participation also includes senior management from top single-family home institutions, as well as founders such as Vikas Choudhary from Porter and Alexey Dubov and Sam Ruben from Mighty Buildings. The company has raised a total of $6.1 million to date.
“With a unique business model, we are opening previously inaccessible job opportunities to fresh labor supply, while also utilizing technology to allow more people to complete tasks that would normally be considered ‘skilled’ or ‘semi-skilled.’ We are the first technology company that tackles this societal issue from the root.”
This investment will allow the company to continue to scale into new markets across the US, leverage new technologies, develop new service offerings for customers, and further enhance the platform’s existing machine learning capabilities.
Wreno was founded in 2021 by Charlotte Schell and Mark Barton, two former Zillow employees with extensive experience in business and real estate. Currently based in Arizona, the company works with some of the country’s largest institutional real estate companies across five states already, connecting them with skilled workers and trade partners to help maintain, repair, renovate, and evaluate tens of thousands of homes.
Currently, the US repair and maintenance workforce is declining at an unprecedented rate, despite the fact that by 2030 the top ten institutional homeowners alone are expected to spend $3.2 billion dollars a year on renovation, routine maintenance, and home evaluations. The shortage of the workforce has resulted in costly delays and unfulfilled projects, representing a significant pain point for institutional homeowners.
Wreno is addressing this underserved market by skilling new labor supply and leveraging machine learning along with end-to-end software solutions to provide faster and more accurate home evaluations and data collection at scale. The platform also optimizes fragmented local trade businesses to provide adjacent repair, maintenance, and renovation services.
“The average US home is 37 years old today. With an aging workforce, the labor supply in this industry shrunk by 38% since 2018. As a result, every 1 out of 3 jobs in home maintenance and management are getting delayed. It was clear to us that increasing utilization of existing workers and skilled trades is no longer enough,” says Wreno co-founder Charlotte Schell. “With a unique business model, we are opening previously inaccessible job opportunities to fresh labor supply, while also utilizing technology to allow more people to complete tasks that would normally be considered ‘skilled’ or ‘semi-skilled.’ We are the first technology company that tackles this societal issue from the root.”
“The rapidly-growing iBuyer, REIT, and proptech markets have been constrained by labor. Wreno’s end-to-end platform opens up labor supply for those companies while bringing efficiencies and improved customer experience to the market,” says Isabelle Phelps, Partner at Lerer Hippeau. “Wreno upskills gig workers and uses technology to provide faster and better estimations and services, pulling together the right mix of software and vendors to support repair and maintenance for businesses at scale.”
Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.