PropDen Event: Invest in Proptech with guest speakers & pitches from Revvis, Homey & EAN
This evening, March 16th, proptech investors will be descending on Scale Space in White City, London to hear from a couple of ambitious start-ups, both of which will be seeking investment for their cutting-edge work in the proptech space.
The headline guest speaker at the event will be Christopher Walkey, the founder of Estate Agent Networking and a pioneer of the property technology scene years before it became trendy to talk about the digital transformation of real estate.
More than half a decade ago, Walkey was putting together conferences and trade shows with a view to pull together property practitioners and businesses who were desperate to solve problems digitally. Walkey is steeped in both property and proptech, so he’s sure to deliver something interesting.
The two companies pitching for investment are Revvis and Homey. Vedran Radovic, the CEO of Revvis, has flown in especially for the event and Homey, founded by Dr Sayinthen Vivekantham, will also be present.
I know Revvis very well as they are a client of mine, so the best way to describe them is the next stage of Matterport, as Revvis virtualises the unbuilt property asset. For example, new home developers or commercial real estate practitioners can market their inventory, fully realised, before it is even constructed.
While Matterport allows for interplay with an already existing structure, with Revvis you can digitally “walk” around it and make changes to the asset. This makes the whole experience more contemporary than other offerings out there, bringing real estate 3D visualisations comprehensively in line with the current Metaverse, virtual reality and augmented reality trends.
Behind Homey is a team of experts in software, design and real estate, each of whom feel the way you buy/sell your home is outdated. Because of this, they are overhauling and reimagining this process through technology. Having been backed by some of the UK’s best minds, Homey are creating a digital solution to this problem, so everyone can benefit from buying or selling a home faster, more easily and with certainty.
If you are an interested investor, the event is invite-only.
If you’d like to learn more about Revvis or Homey, contact them here:
Vedran Radovic, CEO of Revvis (email@example.com)
Sayinthen Vivekanantham, Founder of Homey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Economic Crime Act to bring tighter controls in for foreign property investors
As a direct result of the present conflict in Ukraine, an Act that originated on the 1st of March has in a single fortnight become the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill. This is lightning speed when compared to the usual process, motivated and necessitated by the need to impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs.
The Act is sweeping, but it does give real teeth to the government with regard to revealing the true ownership of property assets in the UK. So, though it may well sweep up a number of Russian targets, it will also make life difficult for organised crime and others seeking to wash their cash in British assets.
Under the Act, a register has been set up. According to the government website, it requires “… those behind foreign companies which own UK property to reveal their identities … Entities who refuse to reveal their ‘beneficial owner’ will face tough restrictions on selling the property and those who break the rules could face a fine of up to £2,500 per day or up to 5 years in prison.
“This will be a valuable tool for law enforcement agencies in investigating suspicious wealth. Companies House will now begin work to implement the register as quickly as possible, working closely with the UK’s 3 land registries. Any foreign company selling properties between 28 February and the full implementation of the register will also be required to submit their details at the point of sale.
“Reforms to Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) will remove key barriers to their use, increasing time available to law enforcement to review material provided in response to a UWO and protecting them from incurring substantial legal costs if they act reasonably in a case that is ultimately unsuccessful.
“Furthermore, UWOs will be more effective against those who hold property in the UK via trusts and other complex ownership structures. The government has also committed to publishing an annual report on their use.”
What amazes me is that it has taken an invasion on European soil to prompt the government and Whitehall to actually engage with the billions of pounds of property assets owned by opaque overseas company structures, which also goes hand in glove with a similar look-the-other-way stance on money laundering, as the title of a property can only be transferred if cash changes hands.
I foresee long after the terrible devastation that Russia is inflicting on Ukraine that this Act will allow the discovery of a huge amount of illegal and questionable gaming of the UK property markets.
It will be interesting to see if all the stakeholders, the banks and financial institutions who may be found to be complicit conduits for these transactions are also dragged into the spotlight as the regulations bite, or will the tangled web of shell companies prevail?
Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO 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 and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.