The Cobalt Real Estate Team in Singapore had the pleasure of attending a recent SMU Real Estate Alternative Investment Alumni Group networking evening, which included a fascinating panel discussion on PropTech and its current and future impact on the real estate industry.
The panel contributed some stimulating thoughts on how the broader FinTech industry is disrupting their specific areas; from Virtual Reality providing time and cost savings to hotel fit-outs, where new stacking technology is revolutionising the logistics and storage space to Artificial Intelligence providing due diligence on real estate deals.
Singapore is very much at the forefront of global investment into technology as it aims to become a smart nation by embracing disruptive tech. We have seen the Monetary Authority of Singapore establish a FinTech Innovation Hub, sponsoring an annual FinTech conference and subsidising costs of new start-ups to encourage growth in Singapore.
So, with this in mind, I thought to share a few Singaporean PropTech companies who are leading the way in this field:
- Virtual Reality is not new to us having been officially invented by Morton Heilig in 1957 however in recent years the technology has advanced at an astonishing rate. Take Wooba as an example, a Singaporean start-up which blends VR with a futuristic interface on Android and iOS devices. Wooba is being utilised by both the everyday Joe on the street, as well as interior design firms by turning architectural and construction plans into an immersive VR experience.
- Artificial Intelligence is not new but getting scarily effective and humanlike now and advancing by the minute. Since it was just a phrase coined by John McCarthy in 1955 we now see AI driverless cars on the roads and AI machines beating humans in games like Go. In Singapore a number of companies are driving AI in property within the searching, buying and renting of property. Take Lucep, a Singapore start-up which uses AI to generate sales leads and then acts on them in record time providing them to agents. It doesn’t just stop here, the AI brain called Search Gorilla learns from customer leads and desires and fine-tunes the generation of these business leads. Smart stuff indeed.
- Not a Singapore start-up but a fascinating one nonetheless is AI being used in M&A transactions fuelled by tech out of North America. In any M&A deal there can be thousands of documents to review for clauses such as non-compete, force majeure, indemnity, limitation of liability etc. This comes at a great cost when you have to employ a team of Junior Associates to go through these documents with a fine-tooth comb. Not anymore; software developers such as Kira Systems, a machine-learning tech which now reviews thousands of documents identifying the key material only that needs human attention. This is saving law firms and their clients huge costs allowing more deals to be done in record time!
Looking ahead into 2018 we expect this to be an excellent year for the rise of PropTech, and we are not alone – check out the Technode website.
If you are interested in discussing PropTech opportunities in Asia. please get in touch with our Singapore Team today.
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