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Rachel Duncan
Rachel Duncan,
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Proptech Start Up firms to look out for!
23 September 2019

The number of new tech start-up companies grew 14% in the UK last year, with Property tech (proptech) a fast-growing sub-sector. A number of new UK companies have exploded onto the property market with various technologies trying to make (what can be) a stressful process into a much easier one, whether renting/buying or selling.

Here is our summary of some of the prop tech companies to watch out for, and what they do…

REalyse

Launched in 2016, this startup provides a fast and more efficient way for residential property investors to stay ahead of the market by determining when, where and what to build. It uses an integration platform of hundreds of datasets that foresee the UK market for over 20 years, with online data analytics providing companies and professionals with accurate real estate expertise and date such as house prices, yields, demographics etc.

Lavanda

Founded in 2014 as a short-term rental platform it expanded earlier this year with an app aiming to capitalise on the growing requirement for companies to save money by utilising spare space in their leased property. The app enables tenants and landlords to have flexibility to see the number of days in a year that a property is available for sublet legally.

Virtual Commercial

Founded by a former com prop manager after he felt the commercial property industry was resistant to tech, this company set out to be the UK’s first online commercial estate agent. It became a fully registered commercial estate agent in 2017, offering three levels of service from free to a one-off fee of £800 – covering complimentary marketing materials for listing a property through to a full marketing service with negotiation and drafting of Heads of Terms.

GetRentr

Offers assistance to agents and landlords by setting out and tracking licensing regulations in every local authority in the UK with an automated compliance monitor which reviews portfolios in real-time. This enables landlords to easily comply with the local rules, saves money, avoids fines and ensures tenants are safe. It also exposes any dodgy dealings.

RentProfile

Claims to provide the UK’s first online network of verified agents, landlords and tenants. The founders set up the company on the back of being victim to a landlord rental scam.This company enables both landlords and property renters to do background checks using a profile showcasing important credentials, together with further security checks using a proprietary algorithm.

AskPorter

With Google as one of its investors, this company uses AI to provide a virtual assistant to landlords, agents and property managers to enable them to automate tasks such as chasing rent/service charge payments or arranging a contractor. It claims that joining is as simple as providing a telephone number and email address and that everything works through a core API.

Hipla 

Founded in 2016, it provides a real estate / property management platform to help potential buyers see what they can afford in the market and compare against other buyers in the area. Aims to provide instant transparency between estate agents, sellers and buyers using a unique scoring system.  

Thirdfort

Founded in 2017 (working closely with UK-based lawyers) and FCA-regulated, this company uses ID verification technology to help buyers and law firms validate the source of funds. Again, founded on the back of being the victim of a scam, the start-up aims to assist in identifying clients and security protecting money transfers during the property sales process.

Landbay

With the aim of creating a more accessible buy-to-let mortgage marketplace for investors, borrowers and brokers, this platform is a peer-to-peer marketplace giving investors access to buy-to-let mortgages, and borrowers quicker access to a mortgage. So far they have arranged around 1,500 mortgages.

Wayhome 

Formerly named ‘Unmortgage’ and changing its name in September this year, Wayhome aims to provide gradual homeownership for people that cannot get a mortgage. Once someone has 5% of their deposit to hand (at least £12.5k) and they pass entry requirements, Wayhome buys the rest of the deposit through a third-party funding partner in the structure of an LLP owning the home. Over time the person can increase their share in the LLP.

Nested

Launched in 2016, it promises to help homeowners sell their property in 90 days or they will give you the money to make your next purchase interest-free. Using algorithms, it provides sellers with a property valuation within seconds and guarantees a minimum price from day one. It then reviews the quick valuation and organises an inspection before confirming a guaranteed offer and placing adverts on property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, even arranging viewings.  In exchange for a guaranteed sale, Nested charges a minimum of 1.8% commission, plus another 20% of any money made above the algorithmically decided value.

Propoly

One of the younger companies on this list (formerly Nanoget) it started life as a messaging service to allow landlords and tenants to communicate with each other directly rather than via an agent. Since then it has become a white label tech service to help estate/letting agents go digital – for example enabling investors to advertise property on Rightmove/Zoopla as well as collecting deposits and rent offline, storing referencing info and managing contracts.

For any commercial property legal advice please contact Rachel Duncan on [email protected] 

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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