What Is Prop Tech?

Oyo Rooms, Co-working and co-living spaces, security solutions for the gated community like MyGate and Alexa are some of the examples of proptech.

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By Tahira Noor Khan

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Proptech or property technology is using innovation and technology to disrupt the real estate sector. Angelica Krystle Donati explains the scope of the term. She claims proptech can be - "A software (property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla are considered proptech software), Hardware (for example, sensors), Materials (for example, special bricks that are being developed to act as batteries for solar panels) or Manufacturing (3D printing, offsite manufacturing)."

Proptech started in the 1980s with the boom of the internet. It also marked the first wave of proptech. During the first wave, real estate listed their offerings on the website.

The second wave of proptech was marked by Venture Capitalist backing in proptech startups. According to EdgeProp.sg CEO Bernard Tong, proptech 2.0 has 4 key drivers. They are data-driven analysis, shared economy, real estate fintech and blockchain. He says, "Data mining is trawling in-depth data and making use of the data by organising them. While the shared economy describes tech platforms which facilitate the use of the property."

Co-living and co-working spaces are shared economy proptechs.

Now, Proptech 3.0 is emerging which is providing services in the real estate sector, backed by technology. Alexa is an example of Proptech 3.0.

Technologies used in proptech?

Blockchain, Artificial intelligence (AI), Intelligence Augmentation (IA), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), Big Data Analytics, Computer Vision and The Internet of things (IoT) are the technologies used by proptech startups.

How big is the proptech market?

Investment in the proptech sector has been constantly rising. In 2011, the investment in proptech was 186 million USD globally and it has risen to 2.67 billion USD in 2016.

In India too, proptech is becoming a hot proposition. According to JLL report, "The Growing Influence of Proptech" India has the largest number of proptech startups (77 of 179 funded proptech start-ups) in the Asia-Pacific region.

Oyo Rooms, an Indian proptech startup is part of the coveted "Unicorn' club. It has also expanded its operations globally.

Traditional Big Brothers Betting On Proptech

Traditional real estate players are modernizing real estate and betting on proptech. Brigade Group, a major real estate player in South India, has started its own startup accelerator programme for proptech startups called Brigade REAP. The first cohort was launched in October 2016 and the programme has mentored 24 startups since then and interacted with over 2,000 startups.

Tahira Noor Khan

Junior Features Writer

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