The rise of AgentTech and Property Fintech - Proptech Weekly #22

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Friends, Feudal Landlords and Commoners, 

Looks like the whole "Year of the Mortgage" stuff really struck a nerve. And by the way, there's a Super Bowl ad for that...

One question keep cropping up: Why is Proptech not as hyped/written about?

Zoopla was never considered as proptech. The vast majority of proptech was founded on the notion of 'disrupting high street agents', like Emoov and the now high-street-agency acquired Hatched.

While 'agent-killing' isn't the sole endeavour of proptech, it is high on the priority list of most proptech founders.

That doesn't bode well for others.

For example, there are a few companies who have found success building products for estate agents, like Fixflo and new entrant Apply.Property. I think these companies would be better served by an unrelated moniker. Maybe AgentTech?

Then there's the world of mortgages: MortgageTech, or Property Fintech, isn't so thrilling or wide ranging. But maybe it doesn't need to be: because it's a HUGE and concentrated market opportunity.

The key is getting the press to latch onto a term they feel confident in talking about, beyond their Emoov-esque hatred of high street agents.

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


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What's next for Redfin? (Inman Select)

Redfin is the original map-search portal that Zillow copied and out-executed long ago pivoted into a tech-enabled-agent. And they have the dual-threat of a warchest of funding and a CEO that everyone likes. But they haven't exactly been setting the world on fire. This Inman Select article looks at what could be next for the Granddaddy of property tech start-ups link

Robin and Saul Klein's LocalGlobe backs online mortgage advisor Trussle (Techcrunch)

And it begins. If you didn't previously believe 2016 is the year traditional mortgage process come under the disruption threat, then reassess your thoughts as the most respected investors in Europe just took their first punt in this space. Why does this matter? Well, you wouldn't pay double for your electricity, mobile phone or car insurance bills, but so many people with a mortgage are doing exactly that. Beyond the initial mortgage application, which is genuinely a nightmare process, few then go on to remortgage when their initial rate transforms into a 'standard variable rate'. Trussle is aiming to ease this pain. Today it is merely a better application process for getting a mortgage. But the future could be an incredible money saver by preventing any homeowner from ever lapsing into a 'standard variable rate' and paying thousands extra a year in unnecessary interest. Even better, the start-up could help lenders retain customers that are thinking about remortgaging elsewhere, and therefore affording these massive institutions sizeable cost savings. No more pricey newspaper adverts, just the data from Trussle informing which customers need better attention. Link

A new Radpad (Medium) 

I haven't written about them much, but Radpad are genuinely one of my favourite start-ups. This write-up on their rebrand is a textbook example of how to give a good brand a great refresh. Love the new Radpad 'spotlight' logo. I'm a genuine fan of Tyler Galpin: Link

Meet Ten-X (CNBC)

Continuing the rebrand theme, it's incredible that have thought changing their name is the route to consumers. It'll be fascinating to watch this play out (and potentially be a massive crash-and-burn). Link

Zameen raises $20m to stretch it's lead in Pakistan (The Express Tribune)

Property portals may be horribly dated experiences for consumers, but they make great media businesses that throw off cash. Zameen now is quoted as having 9,000 agency customers. That's impressive. Link

Amazon Echo is a sleeper hit (Quartz)  

Not strictly proptech, but oh my G is this exciting. Amazon Echo is a bluetooth music speaker that is always listening, so that it's ready to obey your every command. And just google #BaldwinBowl to see the awesome adverts. I want one. If only so I can feel the importance that comes with someone (something?) listening to what I say. Link

CRE Tech 4.0 - 2,200 companies and counting (Realcomm)

A knowledgeable look at past and present efforts to bring tech to Commercial Real Estate. As per usual, I don't comment on things I have little knowledge of, like Commercial Real Estate. Link

RealDeal's 5 intriguing Real Estate Technology companies (The Real Deal)

Nothing too exciting, so I'll slip in their article on Opendoor to balance the boredom: Link

Rocket Internet's property portal Lamudi raises $31.4m  

One of the few portals looking for international expansion. It flies in the face of the whole 'property is local' mantra, but they're certainly amassing the funds to take on those countries without a dominant portal presence (Latin America and Asia excluding Indian Subcontinent). 


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