In Case You Missed It, Read The Highlights from CREtech Talks: European Proptech Venture Capital
The international real estate tech economy is going through, what feels like, seismic tsunami. In a recent CREtech Talks: European Proptech Venture Capital webinar, three of the most active and influential investors in real estate tech, including Gregory Dewerpe of A/O Proptech, Faisal Butt of Pi Labs, and Josh Mintz of Waveline Ventures, shared their views on the impact of the recent pandemic on the real estate tech industry, venture capital investment strategies, and offered suggestions to real estate tech startups to help them navigate these uncharted waters. The discussion was led by Emily Wright, head of special projects and tech editor at Estates Gazette.
“I think it’s difficult to describe what’s happening in the market with a broad brush stroke because there are some nuances,” according to Faisal Butt. “There have been businesses that have come into this recession that have raised a large funding round, so they’re very well positioned.”
And unlike 2008, this sector is very well funded, according to Gregory Dewerpe. “There have been so many funds closing in the last six months, so there is a lot of liquidity out there.”
However, while demand shock continues to set in for many real estate tech startups, strong funding and balance sheets could be the difference between thriving and barely surviving.
In terms of the impact of the pandemic on the greater startup ecosystem, “the winners are going to come out, even if they won on the micro,” according to Josh Mintz. “We have some portfolio companies that their phones are ringing off the hook because some of their products are extremely COVID crisis friendly, but they’re going to face the macro pressure out the other end.”
For the great real estate tech market, it's a tale of two worlds, according to Gregory. “In a sense, you’re going to have a business accelerate. Businesses which are offering products or services, as a result of the crisis, are becoming must-haves. They might have been nice-to-haves, they were interesting things to roll out in your portfolio as a landlord, but suddenly you’re plunged into a new norm and those products are becoming must-haves. And those ones are going to do extremely well and they are going to be attracting capital.”
The conversation touched on almost every aspect of the pandemic’s impact on real estate tech, including a major shift in venture capital and investment strategies.
“In terms of strategy, this is something that venture-backed startups can handle. If there’s one thing that defines us, at the very least what we think a successful startup looks like, it's resilience and the ability to overcome obstacles,” according to Josh.
While the panelists seemingly agreed on the state of the macro real estate tech market, startups in the sector that were planning on raising capital may have to shift their strategies, especially those new to the venture space.
The panel also touched on a variety of topics, including coworking, coliving, and the future of space utilization, but the most impactful topic was about mental health, especially in the high stakes world of entrepreneurship.
And according to attendees of the digital live event, Health & Wellness technology (20%) will be the most impactful in real estate in 2020, followed by Tenant Engagement Technology (16%) and Space Utilization (16%).