Could you describe briefly who you are and where you set yourself in the PropTech Industry?
I’m a Partner and one of the cofounders of Felix Capital, a venture firm investing in Digital Lifestyle and backing the creative class. We focus on new branded propositions tackling consumers behavioural shifts. We see people having very different behaviour towards real assets, especially in urban areas. Expectations are much higher when you rent, concepts such as “co-living” have popped out, owning a flat is much less of a priority… just a few examples of trends setting the scene for favourable and new opportunities.
What key advice would you give to PropTech entrepreneurs seeking to develop a creative consumer-facing brand?
While being very ambitious, take the time to define who you are, who are your customers, what experience do you want to provide, what do you stand for – this is your brand! Take the time to focus on your target community. Make your customers happy, listen to their feedback and iterate as fast as you can. The great thing about PropTech is that most of the time you’re going after a huge market. Hence investors will trust the opportunity to “go big”, but first build a bulletproof authentic branded proposition.
Do you think there is an opportunity for lifestyle PropTech companies to thrive?
Of course! Don’t you? On a serious note, the property market is crowded with incumbents providing very poor customer experiences. However, incumbents have a firm hand on supply & demand with this notion of “insider market”. The barrier to entry is high though we believe there is plenty of space to disrupt this market. It will take the right mix of ambition, technology and customer understanding to do so.
Which specific technology has caught your eye and that you think will revolutionise the property industry?
Anything which fluidifies the relationship between people and real estate assets. Both on the rental or buying market. The spectrum is vast and can stretch itself from new innovative financial instruments facilitating asset acquisition or yield optimisation, to new tenant experiences enabled by your smartphone transforming the rental market.
According to you, which PropTech vertical has the most potential currently and why?
As a consumer-centric firm, our focus will be towards the disruption of “hospitality” at its roots. It encompasses “living”, “co-living”, “coworking” and so on. There is plenty of space to reinvent these experiences, all this powered by technology.