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Sunday PropTech Review; 28th Jan 2018

POSTED BY   james
January 28, 2018

Quite a strongly worded review this week (I have got properly pi$$ed off this week as you will see) and have continued with some small amendments – note this week an expanded Podcasts section with permanent placements for some of the best ones (who podcasts regularly that i should feature here? Tell me).

On that note, credit where credit is due to the two Toms of Goodlord for stepping up and giving honest views on the issues at Goodlord, a well funded start up who has just lost 40 staff and their CEO – listen to their honest feedback of the issues. Do you agree with their explanation?

So, what was it that annoyed me this week? Apart from the wishy-washy post about a UK firm using robots – see below – it was this article about the male only charity bash in London that was then labelled as the ‘most un-PC event of the year due to the level of debauchery put on display by the guests. Seriously, guys, sort it out. Two points to raise though:

It angers me how stupid some of these people are and how this reflects on the sector I have been a part of for so long. Grow up.

One last point i would like put here through. I wonder if this says more about gender than aboutpower and a feeling of superiority over others? I tend to believe it is more of the latter myself. Either way, it is unacceptable and fundamentally wrong.

Rant over (nearly).

A refreshingly honest perspective from GoodLord – PropTech Consult

This is very worth a listen for anyone wanting to learn lessons of scaling too quickly and needing to get yourselves out of trouble. Well done Tom * 2 for coming on and discussing

The workplace is not a playground – Estates Gazette

An interesting look at the design of office buildings – what works and what doesn’t. Work on Technology, Toilets and Coffee and in that particular order to solve the small issues in buildings (tech….small?)

More InsureTech than PropTech but still; a great listen – Fifth Wall

I love the discussion here about using smart home tech to help in underwriting home insurance as Brendan interviews Hippo founder Assaf Wand

Most Shared: IoT Company Raises $4.3M in Seed Funding

Enertiv, a property tech company that creates hardware and software to track the performance and energy usage of building systems, has raised $4.25 million seed funding round.

Enertiv builds IoT sensors and software applications that allow it to capture data from building systems, such as energy usage from boilers, lifts, pumps, A/C units etc.

Enertiv claim that their devices can be placed inside ‘dumb buildings’ to turn them into smart buildings; if that proves to be true, it’s little wonder that the investment is rolling in. The biggest issue for the Digital Transformation is the existing physical infrastructure of our large cities. If this tech can overcome that, Enertiv is a company destined for big things.

Amazon Go store swaps cashiers for sensors to remove queues

Amazon has finally opened its first checkout-less grocery shop in Seattle. Called Amazon Go, the aim is to reduce queue sizes in supermarkets by replacing traditional checkouts with innovative sensors which record who is in the shop and what they are taking off the shelves.

As you see in the video above, shoppers can just take things off the shelf and put them directly in their bag without even having to scan or register them in any way.

Amazon say that their advanced sensors are able to track shoppers around the shop, live, and know exactly what they’ve chosen to buy. The technology is not dissimilar to that being used in driverless vehicles. I am intrigued to see how well shoppers take to Amazon’s new form of ‘Just Walk Out Shopping’.

PropTech Figure of the Week:

$865 million

The amount that Softbank has invested into Katerra – a firm looking at building houses in factories – valuing the firm at over $3billion

 Influencer Quote of the Week:

“Digital disruption will not replace expert local coverage. Local business has a way to complement the digital experience.”

– Anthony Hsieh, founder and CEO of LoanDepot

Trussle founder included on Forbes 30-under-30 list

Released this week, Forbes’ list of 30-under-30 in European tech for 2018 features Ishaan Malhi, founder of the increasingly influential online mortgage broker, Trussle.

he rest of list includes some interesting, sometimes questionable, entries. Can’t quite work out some of them myself so just as wellI wasn’t a judge.

First voice-powered Australian property news report for Amazon Alexa 

Finally, a practical use for Alexa in the property industry. Australians can now get a quick and efficient briefing on the latest property news at home while going about their day. All they have to do is ask Alexa, the cloud-based voice service from Amazon.

By analysing and storing over 1200 monthly news articles from, Alexis is able to deliver voice activated flash briefings for users.

“One day, Alexa will be consulted as if she were just another family member at the dinner table – in the same way, forward-thinking companies are starting to add AI company directors. Chances are in five years’ time, she could be the smartest ‘person’ in the room.” introduces the first AI-powered real estate agent robot

“Amy is smart, fast and reliable without missing out on those key human features…”

That’s how this silly, silly article describes the ‘Digital Super Agent’, Amy, which now works at

The very definition of wishy-washy bullshit.

The New Robotics Technology Set To Change The Construction Industry

One cause of the housing crisis that the UK is currently experiencing is the fact that houses just can’t be built quickly enough, until now. Introducing Hadrian, the bricklaying robot set to change construction forever.

This is the first end-to-end construction in the world and can lay a full house, on-site, in just 2 days. On top of that, because it’s a robot it is completes the task with complete precision, each and every time.

What’s really interesting about this article is the stuff about robots working outdoors…I’d never noticed that, until now, robots only do indoor jobs, and now we finally know why…

 The end of the wet signature?

The Land Registry has said it will underwrite a level of risk of fraud when it starts accepting digital signatures as part of changes that will allow mortgage and conveyancing services to be completed digitally.

The Government agency is trialling a digital mortgage service and has announced that users will have the option of completing conveyancing documents such as mortgages and transfers digitally from April 6.

SoftBank pours $865 million into start-up making buildings in a factory 

With private residential construction spending is expected to grow between 6% and 9% in America in 2018, Katerra, a 3-year-old, all-in-one facotry,-built building company is now valued at $3billion.

Katerra’s co-founder and Chairman, Michael Marks, said:

We have our own factories to make the components. We make sub-assemblies there, bring them to a site, move them around on trucks and conveyors and bring the buildings to life. There’s no handoff. We do everything.

PropTech Events This Week:

1. Tue 30th: RICS Summit Series – Houston

2. Tue 30th: ULI Europe Conference 2018

3. Thu 1st: Outlook 2018: Europe & CEE Investment Briefing

I am off for a cold bath now. Catch up soon I hope and drop me a mail if you ever want to catch up.

Conference season is about to go crazy so hopefully i will catch up with you soon.

That’s all for now, folks…


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