Proptech & Property News Weekly Roundup: Top 50 Proptechs, REACH UK, deskbird, Property Raptor

A roundup of the week’s top proptech and property news in association with Estate Agent Networking.

Second Century Ventures Opens Applications for 2023 REACH UK Program

PRESS RELEASE: The UK arm of the REACH real estate technology scale-up program is now accepting applications for its 2023 cohort. The award-winning REACH program was developed and is operated by Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors®.

The mission of the REACH UK program is to accelerate the adoption of the most promising new technology across the real estate ecosystem and its ancillary industries, including finance, banking and insurance. The REACH UK program offers premier access to the following:

  • Mentorship from real estate, venture capital and technology sector leaders;
  • Education on how to navigate the trillion-dollar global property industry;
  • Exclusive speaking opportunities at the most impactful conferences, trade shows and networking events, including Propertymark, CREtech London, EA Masters and more;
  • Unique access to top media and academic organizations; and
  • A global network of highly talented, like-minded entrepreneurs, including more than 180 REACH portfolio companies and curated program sponsors.

On the heels of two successful cohorts, and with continued support from leading industry partner, NAEA Propertymark, REACH UK has established itself as an industry standout. The program will once again offer a select group of entrepreneurs access to a worldwide network of peers, mentors and investors in conjunction with its sister programs in the U.S., Canada and Australia. 

“The pace of innovation in the real estate technology sector is staggering,” said Bob Goldberg, NAR CEO and the president of SCV. “We have seen several remarkable success stories come out of the REACH UK program, and we’re eager to work with a new group of innovators looking to make their mark on a dynamic industry.”

Notable successes from REACH UK portfolio companies include the following:

  • The closing of fundraising rounds by Hammock, Residently, Mokki, Myr.ai and Monspire, totalling over £12 million;
  • Successful international expansion by Myr.ai, bringing their smart building technology into the UK by entering the market with leading players Cadworks and E-office;
  • Smart Point’s record year-on-year revenue achievement through expansion into new European cities;
  • Strategic collaborations between BlockDox and Fyma, providing cutting-edge data analytics and insights via integrating new types of occupancy and traffic data for commercial real estate;
  • BlockDox and edozo partnership delivering smart use of building data; and
  • Several cohort companies receiving invitations to deploy their technology with major real estate groups and establish transformative pilot programs in the UK and globally.

“It is a privilege to be at the helm of the REACH UK program for our third year in operation,” said Valentina Shegoyan, managing partner of REACH UK. “As the proptech market continues to mature throughout Europe, we see more and more high-calibre startups with strong leadership addressing the real estate market, and we continue investing in a diverse range of solutions while growing our own operations in parallel.”

Applications for REACH UK will be accepted through October 14, 2022. The program will begin in February 2023 and run through autumn 2023.

For more information about REACH UK, join one of our open office hour sessions, or to apply, visit nar-reach.com/uk.


deskbird raises $5 million to accelerate growth across Europe

ST.GALLEN, AUGUST 22, 2022 – deskbird, a Swiss-based tech company on its way to becoming Europe’s leading workplace management platform, announced the closing of a $5 million Pre-Series A financing round. The new funding brings deskbird’s total funding to $6.5 million since its foundation, making it the most funded European SaaS startup for workplace management.

Investors Fortyone and Rivus Capital as well as existing investor session.vc led the round, demonstrating a strong trust in deskbird’s management team and its ambition to become Europe’s leading workplace solution. The investment follows deskbird’s outstanding performance since inception, achieving a total contract volume (TCV) of $2m just one year after product launch (+50% monthly growth).

The capital will turbocharge deskbird’s growth across European markets and allow the startup to expand its product offering to meet additional needs of their enterprise and mid-market customers. With its workplace app, deskbird already helps to manage over 500 offices across 20 countries, from customers such as Schaeffler, Heineken, KFC, Knauf, Volksbank, and more. Deskbird plans to at least double their team to over 100 people until the end of next year.

With its unique approach to workplace management, deskbird offers the first workplace software built around users and not buildings. This results in an unrivaled, mobile-first user experience and a product that helps both avoid workplace chaos and improve in-person collaboration in the office. Employees can do more than just book resources in the office, as they can see who is in the office at a glance and easily schedule in-person meetings accordingly.

Deskbird offers a state-of-the-art user experience and integrations with MS Teams, Outlook, Google Calendar, Slack, and more, leading to an exceptionally high user adoption. The data generated on office space consumption and occupancy helps companies to optimise their office spendings. Deskbird can tailor its offering and comply with the complex IT security, legal, and data privacy requirements of enterprise customers, making it the solution of choice for modern companies with a flexible workplace. 

‍Ivan Cossu, co-founder and CEO of deskbird: “With deskbird, we are shaping the new way of working and helping companies to create better flexible workplaces. We are excited to have our existing investor session.vc further backing us in the current round and new, experienced investors Fortyone and Rivus Capital joining our journey.  With the additional capital, we will not only boost  our growth to become Europe’s category-leading workplace solution, but also expand our platform around the workplace needs of our target customers.”

Jonas Hess, co-founder and CPO of deskbird: “We are grateful for the exceptionally close collaboration with our clients, which allowed us to build a B2B product that is loved by both employees and managers. Thanks to this financing round, we will further push user engagement, functionality and integrations in existing workflows. As we are growing to over 100 people in the near future, one big challenge will be to find the very best talent in line with our culture.”


BusinessCloud: Revealing UK’s PropTech 50 for 2022

BusinessCloud can reveal its PropTech 50 innovation ranking for 2022. 

Readers of the online technology publication and an independent judging panel have together decided the 50 companies blazing a technology trail in the property sector.

The PropTech 50, brought to you in association with OBI – provider of inspiring workspaces to make businesses more successful – celebrates businesses of all sizes creating original tech for real estate, construction, the built environment and building management. 

Modulous, an AI platform for design of sustainable homes, tops the ranking.

Fellow London companies Plentific, Coadjute and essensys make the top four ahead of Luton-based Moovshack, an app for managing the property journey from search to moving in – both for home movers and agents.

Adaptive management reporting software fu3e (London) is seventh. The platform is described as the umbrella above existing management software and is used by real estate funds, asset owners, developers and professional consultants.

Altuity Solutions, which creates facilities management and underground asset management software to help create safe and well-maintained buildings and construction sites, crashes into the top 10. The Bristol firm is in eighth spot.

PropertyCard, described as the world’s property super app, is ninth. The London firm’s PropertyCards for homeowners and tenants allow them to manage property payments around sales, rent, utilities, inventory and documents in one place.

Infogrid and Aprao, also based in the capital, also make the top 10.

“The property sector is beginning to embrace technology. The UK is at the forefront of innovation in how we build, sell and manage property,” said OBI founding director Will Lewis.

“From established businesses to game-changing startups, I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these PropTech 50 companies.”

See the ranking in full here.

[Source: BusinessCloud]


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.”

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.

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