The multi-trillion dollar international property market is getting turned on its head.
Business model development, data accessibility and the expansion of mobile, SaaS and other cloud-native software have already given rise to a mate of tech unicorns that sit among the world’s most prominent real estate companies. Emerging innovations and growing capabilities across artificial intelligence, 5G, IoT and more– paired with fast-moving regulations and remarkable cost structure modifications– have opened chances for the next wave of development across a broad set of multi-billion dollar property verticals and sub-verticals.
And despite WeWork’s implosion garnering many headlines in the property and innovation worlds, endeavor dollars are continuing to spill into real estate tech (or proptech) business at a quickly increasing rate. Simply upwards of $16 billion in equity capital has flowed into real estate-related startups in 2019 alone, according to information from Crunchbase and Pitchbook, with significant fundraises happening across industrial, industrial, residential, and financial categories.
If we follow the money, it’s clear that more and more prominent VCs are turning to real estate tech or proptech for ripe opportunities for juicy returns and disturbance on a worldwide scale. Provided the countless subsectors where interesting brand-new start-ups are popping up, we asked more than 20 leading real estate VCs who work at companies that span early to development stages to share where they see chance within the colossal real estate classification.
- Zach Aarons, MetaProp
- Pete Flint, NFX
- Ryan Freedman, Corigin Ventures
- Constance Freedman, Moderne Ventures
- Tyler Sosin, Menlo Ventures
- Jeff Crowe, Norwest Endeavor Partners
- Micah Kotch, URBAN-X
- Merritt Hummer, Bain Capital Ventures
- Kia Nejatian, Plug and Play
- MJ Cootsona, Plug and Play
- Robin Godenrath, Picus Capital
Responses have actually been edited for length and clearness.
Zach Aarons, MetaProp
What patterns are you most thrilled in property tech from an investing point of view?
We like to track patterns that play out in the more comprehensive genuine estate markets. Industrial real estate has performed very well over the last few years, and we see a push towards workforce real estate, medical genuine estate, and senior real estate.
How much time are you investing in property tech today? Is the market under-heated, over-heated, or simply?
We invest 100%of our time on property tech (proptech). The market is definitely hot, but the addressable markets are huge and adoption is still relatively low and speeding up. Our company believe that now is a great time to purchase early-stage proptech, supplied it’s done wisely.
Are there startups that you want you would see in the industry but don’t?
We would love to see more start-ups in the product sciences sector. Innovations like steel, bricks, timber, glass and reinforced concrete are hardly new, and they are still the predominant structure materials of today. There have been small advances like cross-laminated lumber; nevertheless, we are trying to find essentially new materials to bring into the structure trades.
Plus any other ideas you want to show TechCrunch readers.
Proptech is the most enjoyable sector in the world. No other sector shares the complexities and idiosyncrasies of technology that needs to be applied to the constructed world. We are very lucky we get to do what we do.
Pete Flint, NFX
Realty is the biggest asset class worldwide by far, but the products offered and service proposal surrounding it are still in the early stages of tech adoption. I see at least 3 major areas of opportunity for startups in property tech.
2nd is the increase of alternative (or professionalized) living plans. I see a big opportunity for start-ups with a strong innovation element to supply options for the mismatch in between the method consumers wish to live today and the aging real estate supply that was built for a previous era with various needs and demographics. Business like Lyric and Zeus are developing alternative living services with a vertically-integrated short term rental technique, while co-living start-ups are supplying long-term leasings with value-added services.
Setter is supplying a better customer experience for requesting home upkeep services while Constru is bringing AI and maker vision to lower costs and decrease schedule overrun on building and construction sites.
While these are huge opportunities, the challenge with buying realty tech is to find start-ups with teams that not only have world-class item and software application capabilities, but also first-rate understanding of finance, property, and operations. And with the current WeWork fiasco, we have actually seen a renewed emphasis on the failings of low-margin companies. For PropTech start-ups that are looking for moneying today, there’s an increased requirement to demonstrate excellent unit economics and long-lasting margin capacity.
Ryan Freedman, Corigin Ventures
At a high level, I think we are still in the early innings of proptech– perhaps 3rd or 4th inning. I always like to make the contrast to fintech. Technically speaking, property is a bigger property class than monetary services. Between 2013-2017, fintech had cumulative financing of $624 B vs. proptech’s $101 B. Even though proptech has actually increase the last couple of years, we still have a long method to go prior to catching up. In addition, you might recall that PropTech utilized to be a “sub-sector” of fintech prior to being its own behemoth classification. There are a number of subsectors within PropTech today, that I believe a couple of years from now will be their own classifications– building tech is one of those.
From a financial investment viewpoint, we’re spending a lot of time in building tech right now. Building accounts for ~$10 T yearly spend globally and employs ~ 7%of the international workforce.
Another location we’re hanging around in is broker-tech. We have actually seen the “tech-enabled brokerage” design be effective in a ton of various industries including PropTech. A great deal of investors believe this space is “crowded”– which is true in some sub-sectors (i.e. residential)– but when you look closely within the business realty market, we believe there is a huge opportunity to interfere with conventional real estate capital markets companies.