PropTech Roundup – June 2021

Here are the top news stories from the UK PropTech space in June 2021…

Luxembourg proptech with £860k new funding due to arrive in London

Kodehyve aims to remove inefficiencies and increase transparency in real estate project planning, construction, transactions and property manage- ment. The company proposes using the funding to develop its real estate collaboration tool. 

Some of the fund will be deployed for expansion into new European markets, in particular the UK and London.

Founded in 2020 by Felix Hemmerling and Julien Casse, Kodehyve uses in-house modules and third-party APIs to optimise the performance of real estate professionals in project and customer relationship management and financial and data analysis.

Customers benefit from task and deadline planning, information and document transfer, new client data, e-signatures, KYC and AML checks, as well as a range of financial tools.

Casse believes that real estate still relies mainly on outdated processes, such as email, paper mail and phone calls, and lags at least five to ten years behind the financial industry in terms of digitisation and the widespread use of powerful solutions such as AI. The founders’ objective is to fully digitise the real estate market.

Hemmerling, having learnt a lot from their customers, says it was important to remain independent in the first private equity round and not raise funds from real estate organisations. 

French proptech secures €600k to launch in UK

The UK’s departure from the EU has not prevented Ublo from establishing itself here. The proptech platform, already live in France, will soon be available to English-speaking landlords and agents. 

The Paris-based property management platform has raised the funding from leading tech investors in France and offers its service to both UK landlords and lettings agencies. 

The one-year-old platform has been available only to French landlords and lettings firms until now, although a UK language version has yet to go live.

The company aims to assist social and private property managers to become more efficient by automating their daily tasks, reducing their expenses and improving communication with their residents through its platform.

Agathe Machavoine, Ublo’s founder, comments that the funding will enable Ublo to continue focusing on its main goal; automating regular tasks and optimising contact among managers, residents and guardians.

The platform charges €5 per property per year for portfolios of up to 1,000 homes and is available also as a white-label version.

Maven invests £2m in proptech specialist Guru Systems

Maven Capital Partners (MCP), one of the UK’s most active investors in growth businesses, has invested in Guru, a prominent supplier of B2B IoT hardware, software and analytics systems to energy companies, house builders, developers and housing associations. 

The company offers a service to those who wish to reduce their carbon footprint and operating costs, meet their regulatory requirements and deliver the most efficient and cost-effective service to their customers.

The investment will enable expansion of Guru’s sales and marketing activities and develop and roll out new software and hardware products for heat networks and similar markets.

Guru’s monitoring technology was developed for use where heat generation is centralised and supplied to consumers via a system of underground pipes carrying hot water. The networks, one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing carbon emissions from heating, eliminate the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every home or office.

Domestic heating is responsible for 13pc of the UK’s annual emissions footprint and low carbon heat networks are a central feature of the country’s de-carbonisation strategy. The Committee on Climate Change anticipates the proportion of UK heating delivered via heat networks will increase from 2pc to a minimum of 20pc by 2050.

Guru’s hardware can be fitted to new-builds or retrofitted to collect data from existing networks, and the software uses AI-based analytics to provide a comprehensive picture of performance in every home and commercial building.

David Milroy, partner at MCP, says Guru’s sophisticated monitoring and analytic technology is highly attractive to developers and operators as they work to create efficient and cost-effective heating systems.

Casey Cole, CEO at Guru, is confident their technology enables clients to make their energy systems more transparent, cheaper and less carbon-polluting.

Lofti raises £1m to create community-driven platform

The cloud-based property management platform has gained around £1m funding in Seed Round from Taiwanese family office fund WoodJC. 

Founded in 2020, Lofti aims to develop a community-based platform on which home owners, landlords and tenants can collaborate to maintain and improve their properties.

Andreas Gkerazis, founder and CEO of Lofti, says there is a need to improve the residential property management and maintenance markets for individuals. All those involved experience problems and challenges that make what should be relatively simple processes, such as making repairs to homes, a lengthy and frustrating business.

Lofti hopes to change this by bringing all stakeholders together in one community and enabling them to offer and receive work and communicate openly without delays. In practice, this means creating the UK’s first booking system, similar to Uber’s, for vetted contractors.

The system is a simple document management platform where everyone can see important data such as tenancy contracts and predictive analytics are used to identify possible maintenance issues, which allow homeowners, landlords and builders to find and rectify problems before they develop.  

Lofti offers an on-demand fixed price booking system where homeowners and tenants can post details of work needed, which can then be accepted by tradesmen. Importantly, users are able to track the arrival time of their contractor, communicate with them, agree and pay fees, and sign off work via the Lofti app.

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