Sunday PropTech Review; 27th August 2017

POSTED BY   james
August 26, 2017

Nearly 60 years ago my father and two friends got lost driving to Wales. He ended up at a tiny pub in the Cotswolds called The Kings Head in a small but beautiful village called Withington.

They never made it to Wales.

They also made an oath that they would return every August bank holiday and, hence, I am sitting in a field, under star light writing this review, for my 39th Cotswold camping weekend. I can hear bats flying overhead.

However, now there are about 60 of us. I declined to mention that my father became a true English Morris Dancer in his 20’s and decided that this weekend jaunt would make the perfect excuse to combine his two loves. Old English Pubs and Morris Dancing. Welcome to my rather mad world of Morris Dancing and PropTech. Lets get on with this weeks review.

1. This week’s most shared article: Emoov raises £9 million as “hybrid” agent looks to improve its tech stack even more

I have watched the “online” property portal market closely over the last few years simply because I get it – whilst it won’t be for everyone, I get it. Therefore great to hear this week that eMoov have raised a further £9 million this week. Interestingly they state it is to further improve their tech stack (it is pretty good according to Mike Delprete) but also to expand their marketing efforts

Interesting quote from eMoov here which does show the progression being made in the sector – which is now arguably just a three horse race here in the UK with Purplebricks and Yopa being the other two:

The online sector has now grown in terms of competitors but there has become a real divide in terms of those that provide a very poor service offering and are almost DIY in their approach, and those like eMoov, who provide a full estate agency offering including real people on the ground that will visit a property to provide valuations, floor plans, EPCs, photos and so on.

So we like to differentiate ourselves from the lower end of the online sector because even in the short time it’s been alive, there have been different variants entering the fray.

2. EG and Tech City launch PropTech Start Up competitions against each other

It seems that Estates Gazette and UKTN (formally Tech City News) are going up against each other to find the very best PropTech start up. For one there is an accolade and some serious press exposure and a title of one of the top Start Ups in the UK while the other there is a similar accolade but also a chance to bag a £150,000 investment from PiLabs – the global venture capital firm specialising in early stage PropTech investment.

For more information on the UKTN event click here

For more information on the Estates Gazette and PiLabs event click here

Whilst all this is going on, hear more about all the latest cohort from MetaProp. I hear their pain that only 15% of their applications were from female founders. Is 15% indicative of the true number of female founders out there or just that not enough are applying. Thoughts on this? Email me

3. Tech progress; learn from how Electricity was taken onboard

I love the industrial revolution. I always have. I mentioned I visited the first house to have electricity last week well I felt that I couldn’t not mention this article, especially as it will form the basis of some of my forthcoming speeches I will be giving.

In the 1870s light bulbs were created and by 1881, Thomas Eddison had created two large electricity plants; one in Manhattan and one in London. However, nearly 20 years later, only 5% of factories worked under electricity – steam still prevailed.

Fast forward a century and a bit, our technological revolution is moving at an incredible rate BUT we are only at the start. We can’t push revolution and change. We have to make sure that it is done correctly. Worth a read to hear how electricity changed it all.

4. How voice will impact the home

It was in a recent survey and subsequent report with HSBC that I said that voice controlled home will be a ubiquitous proposition for us all. Therefore I had to mention this article today which I found fascinating.

Following the introduction of standalone voice devices such as the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, what we’re seeing now is a rush by a wide range of device manufacturers to integrate voice into their end devices, from washing machines to smoke alarms to alarm clocks” – a comment from the article But lets take this a stage further. I have seen examples of how voice will interact with property platforms to help the end user. “Alexa, when is my rent due” or “Alexa, can you organise a plumber to come next Wednesday at 9am” will be common place.

5. Using VR in Real Estate

A couple of weeks back I had a demonstration with Eyespy 360 with their new interactive tour feature which I thought was amazing and a game changer – the interaction with VR being an element for the future but not the immediate attraction.

However this article looks at a slightly different but equally interesting article – they state that Matterport, a competitor of Eyespy, has mapped 2.4% of all listed CRE properties in the US and that this technology was a game changer for us all.

I agree. The key however is making the entry price accessible and giving all users an interactive experience. The future is VR for sure, we just have to make sure we make it easy for all to access and enjoy PS. Interesting to hear of Matterports news this week that they have raised a significant amount of money (taking total investment to $66million – wow……..) to, and this is what I am interested in, “is to take these 3D scans and to gather more and more insights from them through deep learning-based AI development”

6. Google partners with Walmart – more than meets the eye here…..

In the world of Digital Transformation, a matter close to my heart given a consultancy business I run, one fact that we often talk about is how competition today may be an ally tomorrow and how this should be completely recognised and understood (and, incidentally, a very symbiotic partnership today can very quickly turn into your largest competitor)

Therefore, off of the back of an annoucement a while back from Amazon who purchased Whole Street foods, it is interesting to now see Google get in on the act and they came up with this:

Google and Walmart are testing the notion that an enemy’s enemy is a friend.”

Why does this matter for PropTech I hear you cry? There are battles between Google and Amazon all over the place; especially in the home.

Google has Search. Amazon has online shopping. Both are fighting over voice activated smart assistants in the home and Amazon is currently winning (in my view). Google is worried and this quote from the article backs it all up:

Amazon’s dominance in online shopping is challenging brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart, while more people are starting web searches for products they might buy on Amazon instead of Google.

This impacts all of us (and our homes) – watch this space.

6. All my recommended PropTech reads of the week.

As always, I like to list all the articles I have been looking at and reading through this week so here is a complete list in case you want more. Hope you enjoy them…..

Picking up lots of interesting AI articles (particularly around FinTech) in there at the minute so worth a read through.

Right, I am off Morris Dancing. Chat soon.

You may also like

Propy, Blockchain & Ukrainian Transparency
Sunday PropTech Review
September 8, 2017
PropTech News
Wiredscore Announces Berlin Launch

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *