PiLabs and more Jonny Britton - Proptech Weekly #31

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Friends, Feudal Landlords and Commoners, 

More news, more events, more people. Proptech is becoming a busy space.

I'm going to keep the intro short this week (relatively speaking), with just a quick follow up from last week's focus on LandTech's Jonny Britton.

On me saying his technology could solve the housing crisis, this is what Jonny had to say:

"There are actually 4 pillars to the housing crisis: land access, access to money, access to skills and planning. We can help with 3 of those over time. Someone else needs to train up workers."

You quickly get a sense for who is 'plugged-in' and has the domain expertise to succeed.

I don't set out to be so extreme in my views.

I just want to promote those doing good work and I find it hard to hide my dislike for those who lack credibility and a credible approach.

What am I getting at? Pi Labs.

I just find every part of the programme offensive. No domain expertise, poor performance, bewilderingly bad terms for the teams and outsize hype.

Yes, hype. The thing I've been saying we need in Proptech.

Pi Labs have done the hype better than anyone else. And haven't been known to back it up with substance.

Jonny and his co-founder Andrew were in the first cohort. And they wax lyrical about the programme and how it helped LandTech.

This week Pi Labs Programme Director Mary Criebardis Singh penned this for Estates Gazette: Link

It's the best opinion piece I've ever read on Proptech. I'd add that it's a must-read for every founder.

And so now Pi Labs are on their 3rd cohort, they're picking up increasing credibility and domain knowledge.

Maybe I'll have to revise my above assessment to:

Pi Labs is helping to increase awareness of Proptech and if the programme becomes less 'generic accelerator' then you might soon see them attract Proptech companies that make you go 'woah, that's going to change the world'.

And as Richard of Goodlord said on Eddie Holmes's Proptech Podcast: "Anybody putting money into young companies, we shouldn't bash."

Well said that man. His perspective is my lesson and personal shame.

Please feel free to relay news, tips and comments @RayhanRESI 


Rayhan's PropTech Weekly XXXI

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Opendoor's JD Ross shares incredible data on spotting 'hot' neighbourhoods to buy property in (Medium)

The start-up that makes the Proptech world go 'woah' on a regular basis have gone overboard here. Never before has a single company been such a significant market participant and revealed such incredible insight. If only we got the same from large real estate agencies and maybe even lenders. Fascinating that 'perceived wisdom' - like buy where Trader Joe's are opening - is debunked by the data (if upmarket is moving in, you've missed the move): Link

An interview with Landed's founder Alex Lofton (Stanford)

When start-ups target 'retail' investors I often sign. But after a phone call with Alex Lofton, I am in awe with their approach. I'm going to write more about why later, but in the meantime here's the interview with Stanford: Link

The UAE is exploring building a mountain (Washington Post)

Woah! Whether true or not: Woah! Link

VTS raises $55m (TechCrunch)

A continuation of ambition in the US being backed by significant resource and industry support. As highlighted Lightstone launching an incubator fund and by this CB Insights report on 'Real Estate Tech Top Bets: Where corporates and VCs are putting their capital'. Here's the VTS funding detail: Link

Airbnb managers take on real estate agents (AFR)

While short lets are profitable, they really are just typical, unscalable agencies. Tech isn't helping here: Link


CoStar expands in Europe with acquisition of Germany's Thomas Daily

Like Mary of Pi Labs said, consolidation and working together is the way to go: Link