Fintech, Insur-tech, Adtech, Medtech – all buzz words that have permeated the Israeli market. But as much as we like to think that Israel is on the cutting edge of all things tech – there is still a “tech” that has not become part of the startup nation’s lingo: Proptech. Namely, the intersection between real estate and technology. A response to endless inefficiencies and antiquated processes in the real estate industry – technology and real estate coming together to propel the industry forward.
Having initially started in the analysis and management of real estate portfolios, the proptech industry has expanded over the years (gaining significant traction in 2013-14). From B2C projects (predominantly online search engines for properties, which enabled the public to view the properties at a distance), and then branching out to real estate fintech – where software and platforms aid the process of real estate transactions, shared economy (AirBnb, WeWork come to mind…), and smart real estate (a concept enthusiastically adopted by Tel Aviv – famous for its development and implementation of resource-saving, energy-efficient hard infrastructure for the improvement of urban administration and sustainable urban development).
The proptech industry is flourishing worldwide – bringing solutions for the organization and analysis of key data from lengthy rental documents; virtually walking through homes and apartments; splitting rent; working from (and living in) shared spaces; crowdfunding real estate projects; and other lucrative solutions to decades long problems of a “dinosaur industry.” The possibilities are endless, and the changes to the real estate industry as we know it are mind-boggling. Our experiences in finding a home, buying it, living in it, and selling it have already changed, and will continue to do so at an exponential speed.
Real estate tech startups raised $1.4B in 2017 worldwide, with large transactions completed –for example, in Q4 2017, Compass, a New York-based online real estate platform, raised $450m in series E funding led by SoftBank. Q4 2017 saw investments more than treble to over $1bn compared to the previous quarter, due to investors engaging in a greater number of larger transactions. London-based Nested, an online real estate sales platform, raised $47.4m in Series B funding from Pincus Capital and Global Founders Capital in one of the biggest equity deals last year. 2017 ended strongly, with high expectations for 2018 – as North America and Europe lead the world in this thriving tech arena.
And as for Israel: we, of course, aim to catch up – as evidenced by the upcoming Proptech360, the first time a global Proptech summit will be held in Israel. A showcase of speakers in the fields of IoT, AI, blockchain, retail real estate, real estate ownership and services – it is exciting to realize that the proptech revolution – after having been highlighted in major cities throughout Europe and the USA – is finally reaching our shores (For those interested, you can register for the Proptech conference at prop-tech360.com).