As August dawns, it’s time to reflect on the latest developments from the last month. We’ve selected ten of the best PropTech articles of July 2018, to help you get up to speed with what’s been going on in the world of PropTech over the last month.
Geovation is a government-back tech incubator, focussing on location data and geospatial innovation. Created by Ordnance Survey, and now backed by the Land Registry, too, Geovation is creating innovation in everything from mapping and drone insurance, AI and sustainability. This article features an in-depth interview with Head of Geovation, Alex Wrottesley.
If you are a tech startup working with locational or geospatial data, you can apply to enter the Geovation Hub, here.
Understanding how we make decisions and why we do what we do is a vital step towards increasing human efficiency and reducing risk. It has been the focus of intense scientific research since the early 20th century. What’s unusual here is that a property firm has hired a neuroscience consultancy firm – why?
“There’s a structural shift in what it is to be a real estate developer or a placemaker today,” Centric Lab Director of Consultancy Josh Artus said. “It’s a cultural and a human shift, and it needs new skills. We are looking to provide the scientific basis to help people make decisions, and make it more informed.”
This is hilarious. Just read it. At time of writing, of the $100m they’re after, they’ve raised £16.
What if you could search all of the Earth’s surface, live? And track any changes day-to-day? You’d be able to know how many ships are in the ocean at any one point and exactly where they are. You’d be able to see how quickly forests are being destroyed. You’d be able to analyse crop fields and predict yield. You could find survivors after major natural disasters. Now, you can. Search the Earth’s surface, live, from your desktop, just like you search with Google.
This was July’s most socially shared PropTech article. It’s a fantastic overview of what is now being called Urban Tech, of which PropTech is a significant part.
“From food-delivery startups to mapping and co-living companies, technology focused on urban systems is drawing billions of dollars in venture capital.”
It’s hardly surprising though, is it? That the city is the most profitable place for business. What is interesting though is how nearly every single aspect of city life has changed, in the past 20 years, with the rise of technology. The process, somehow rapid and gradual at the same time, has happened before our eyes without many of us realising the scale.
WeWork; love them or hate them, they’re pretty business savvy. They don’t sit back and simply roll around in their billions earnt from co-working success. No, they take that money and use it to disrupt a new industry. Now, there’s WeLive, WeGrow, WeLearn, and WeGym. News broke in July that WeWork Space Services was also starting. It will see WeWork act as property broker helping their graduating clients find their first official office space. Almost immediately, every broker shat themselves.
Having made her name as the head of Paragon, a cryptocurrency and blockchain offering designed specifically for the cannabis world, Jessica VerSteeg is trying to solve a problem at the junction of cannabis and technology: affordable cannabis-friendly co-working spaces.
Rightmove is one of the world’s most profitable companies, but it is also increasingly clear that their business model cannot sustain them forever. Because they haven’t diversified their offering in nearly 20 years, unlike rival Zoopla, they are heading towards a slow and painful death. This article explains why, and also offers Rightmove an interesting suggestion as to how they can save their own skin.
Open Banking is a government initiative that sees the customer data held by 8 of the UK’s biggest banks being opened up to third-party developers and business in order to create more useful tools for the finance industry.
In the world of PropTech this means instant mortgage approvals, live background and referencing checks, stuff like that. Saying any more would spoil it, have a read. Because even though this innovation is often skewed in favour of the general public, estate agents can also benefit greatly from Open Banking.
Knotel, yet another co-working provider from New York, have long held blockchain aspirations. They have now acquired 42Floors, a commercial real estate search engine, in order to, according to founder Amol Sarva, get “access to data and technology on over 10 billion square feet of office space, driving further liquidity to Knotel’s marketplace while also accelerating its plans for a blockchain platform.” Fair enough.
These articles represent my own recommendations for the best PropTech articles in July 2018, but you may have other suggestions. Drop us a link in the comments, so others can enjoy the articles you have also found interesting this month.
Join the TDMB TechTech Book Club. We meet once a month in a cosy London pub to discuss a chosen technology book as picked by the community.