According to a recent poll by legal firm Osborne Clarke last month, London is the undisputed capital of property technology innovation, or ‘proptech’, in Europe. What’s more, the majority of experts believe London will still hold the proptech crown in five years hence.
When you consider the success of the UK’s pre-eminent prop-tech players arguably this shouldn’t come as a major surprise. The grand daddy of British property innovators, Rightmove, has seen a three month money-making run on its share price edging it toward the £50 threshold, which means that a company which debuted on the stock-market in 2006 with a valuation of £425 million now boasts a market cap of £4.45 billion! Not to be outdone, longtime challenger in the portal duopoly, Zoopla Group is the subject of a £2.2bn bid from tier one US private equity firm Silver Lake, a fund that’s previously backed Skype, Alibaba and Tesla...
Working in the proptech sector as we do, we thought it would be fun to cast around and identify some of the next generation start-ups (present company...ahem... excepted) best placed to pick up the baton and take up the charge to ensure London (and the UK) holds centre stage in 2023….
Founded by serial entrepreneur Peter Goodman, HomeLyfe sets out to make the confusing world of insurance more straightforward and fair. The team launched with Home Buyer’s insurance, to protect against gazumping, and have now added traditional home insurance, sales for which they can turn around in an impressive four minutes flat. Speedy!
The brainchild of lettings industry veteran, Ajay Jagota, Dlighted are at the vanguard of the new ‘deposit free renting’ trend, looking to disrupt the antiquated world of cash security deposits with insurance-backed schemes. Whilst other zero deposit competitors typically charge the tenant, Dlighted has uniquely tailored products fundable by agents and landlords too.
Acasa is on a mission to haul shared home finances into the twenty first century and help house sharers make those passive-aggressive fridge message about unpaid shared bills a thing of the past! Users entrust payment of household utility payments, such as gas, electrity and broadband, to Acasa whose smart app then ensures everything is split correctly between hosue-mates and on time.
Founded by ex property professionals, Adam and Andrew, Homyze connects property owners, managers and landlords with a vetted panel of maintenance professionals. The service is geared to deliver maximum peace of mind, with a concierge feel plus a pledge that all Homyze tradespeople are insured up to £5m and all work guaranteed for 12 months.
Sitting on the fin-tech meets prop-tech boundary, Habito are on a quest to make mortgage borrowing actually work for the borrower (now there’s a thought!), using AI and great product design to disrupt the industry. Born out of the founder’s frustration of losing a house purchase due to a broker’s error in a tortuous application process, Habito aims to make sourcing a mortgage fast, painless and hassle-free. Hurrah!
FixFlo is a pioneering reporting software provider for the rental sector. Set-up by ex lawyer Rajeev in 2013, the service aims to solve the problems he first experienced as a long-distance landlord in dealing with tenants’ maintenance and repair requests. Some 4,000 lettings branches have already adopted Fix-flo in the UK to streamline the management of property repairs and next the company is expanding to South Africa.