FM/Property Management is an area The Proptech Connection (PTC) sees many opportunities, across continents and supports many real estate companies unpack the swathe of solutions for their use case + (specific) portfolio needs.
Initially, many attacked problems at the energy management level through consultancy or rule-driven hybrid platforms. We have seen this energy optimisation strategy becoming more mainstream and integrated as BAU and many tech offerings moving into more automated systems.
The ubiquity of sensors has seen the digital reach evolve and many middleware platforms arise that enable the wider building to be tech enabled. The most successful technologies – and there are a number of fantastic ones – are able to support the whole of the building’s asset’s “family” of owners, managers and users through their offerings.
However, technology fatigue is definitely occurring in the space – especially as it becomes more competitive. Some of the technologies are seen by end users as a hindrance to the building operations and management teams owing to the solution being too siloed, too complicated or repeating what already exists. Furthermore, some of the very specific point solutions can run out of value after a few years, particularly where much of the building's ongoing cost is statutory and regulatory compliance costs can be hard to reduce. So, the FM tech space is not without its challenges.
UAE: Perfectly poised
Ivo: We really think the UAE region is fantastically placed to drive some of the next waves of innovation in PropTech. Supply chain costs (shipping costs are at five times what they were last year), energy usage and digital construction techniques, are some of the challenges we feel will be next on the immediate horizon. The UAE region has some enormously innovative and large enterprises who can fund and deploy solutions to overcome these issues”.
Stephen: The future for how we build + manage buildings is ripe for evolution. My first Venture investment was in 2009, when our fund, and the co-investor, the Japanese conglomerate Marubeni, invested in a university spin out in Scotland.
They had developed an insulation material that used Dynamic insulation to help heat or cool a building. This was 13 years ago and the technique was achieving u-values which were significant from an energy, wellness but also land-yield perspective.
The point is that some of the solutions aren’t new but with the greater momentum we have in the market now due to social and governmental desire, these techs can be tweaked and rolled out and make massive differences in places like UAE.
This article is jointly written by Ivo van Breukelen and Stephen Macdonald, co-founders of The Proptech Connection, the leading global advisory firm which helps global VC/PE funds & institutional investors, real estate companies & agencies + proptechs navigate the rapidly evolving ecosystem by providing global market insights + access to the largest proptech network.