Proptech start-ups with potential to transform Asia’s real estate industry chosen for accelerator programme

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JLL and Lendlease, two of the world’s leading international real estate companies, on Sep 4, unveiled the five proptech start-ups that have been selected for the first Singapore-based regional property technology (“proptech”) accelerator. Announced in June this year, Propell Asia is an industry-first collaboration between JLL and Lendlease.

The programme to identify the proptech start-ups with potential, received many applications from start-ups across Asia, and the eventual five selected were early stage companies chosen based on the commercial viability and scalability of their idea, as well as each team’s strength and technical competency. The chosen start-ups offer a good mix of solutions for office and leasing, construction productivity, facilities management and Internet of things (IoT) platforms.

The five proptech start-ups chosen for the Propell Asia accelerator programme are:

  1. GorillaSpace: an online marketplace for flexible and long-term workspaces. For individuals and businesses, the platform provides tools that enables them to find workspaces quickly and to make better decisions based on transparent information. For workspace owners, the platform enables them to manage their inventory much more efficiently.
  2. a proptech start-up that uses AI to automate the facilities management process. By applying machine learning to the management of physical infrastructure and manpower resources, property managers can transform their role from operators to service providers, to ultimately enhance the value and security of the facilities under their management.
  3. Logfront: an IoT-powered facilities management platform that provides the tools and intelligence to improve service provision and reduce costs. Using sensor analytics and machine learning, Logfront monitors the usage patterns of a facility and optimises maintenance frequency and deployment of field service workers.
  4. Nucon: an intelligence engine specially tailored for the construction industry. Nucon provides machine learning services such as context-aware image analysis, speech recognition, dynamic translation, and conversational experiences. Its platform-as-a-service model provides businesses a building block for data analytics and modern applications.
  5. Talox: a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) leasing and asset management platform designed primarily for landlords and agents of commercial real estate. By digitising and automating the entire workflow of leasing corporate office spaces, Talox enables landlords to use the captured data to improve the performance and profitability of their assets, and agents to provide more proactive leasing representation and faster deal execution.

“Lendlease is looking forward to having these dynamic start-ups that are passionate about transforming the proptech industry in our region. Their diversity will bring innovative ideas and use cases to the field of real estate,” said Tony Lombardo, Chief Executive Officer Asia of Lendlease. “Our goal is to help unlock their potential and provide an accelerated pathway for them to validate, commercialise and scale their solutions.”

Albert Ovidi, Chief Operating Officer of JLL Asia Pacific, said, “JLL brings a regional network of 96 offices in 16 countries in Asia Pacific, and our recently established JLL Spark Global Venture Fund will take a special interest in nurturing the next proptech game-changer in the region. Our partnership with Lendlease makes Propell Asia a particularly compelling opportunity for start-ups to access the entire real estate value chain – including investment, development, construction, brokerage, consulting and facilities and property management – and opportunities to test and validate their products.”

The accelerator will be based at District 6, a co-working space located in Bras Basah, Singapore. There, the teams will undergo a ten-week fast-track learning programme customised to the maturity and property focus of each start-up. The programme will focus on real estate industry immersion and give start-ups access to a range of mentors who will work with them to develop relevant business skills from planning to product, and strategy to execution. The final stages of the accelerator programme will see the start-ups refining their minimum viable products and conducting Proofs of Concept. It will culminate in a demo day where each start-up will present their product to a carefully assembled panel of real estate experts, investors and media.

“The diverse real estate systems in each country are a real challenge for start-ups, so I’m glad that JLL and Lendlease are bringing their ecosystems together, along with committed mentors, to offer guidance and expertise,” said Anthony Chow, co-founder and CEO of Igloohome, one of the mentors of the programme. “With Propell Asia, start-ups will be able to leverage these collective resources to get a leg up in the growing proptech scene in Asia.”

proptech start-ups
Image credit: iCompareLoan

Mr Paul Ho, the chief mortgage consultant at said that proptech start-ups are already disrupting traditional business operating models in real estate here.

In keeping up with proptech start-ups, property agents “must upgrade or die”, said Mr Ho. He noted that many property agencies struggle to keep up with all the regulatory changes in the industry, as well as the changing financial calculations for acquiring a property. He urged property agents to master the basics in property financing, refinancing, taxation and CPF.

Mr Ho said that runs a full 2 – 3 days course on how property agents can produce such reports for their customers. He added that the trademarked course teaches Property Agents how to generate complicated Financial calculations using –  Home Loan Report (TM) – in 3 mins flat. This helps Property agents to close deals faster and serve customers more professionally.

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Written by Ravi Chandran

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