A/O PropTech has raised a €250m evergreen fund to invest in tech companies transforming European real estate and Gregory Dewerpe, its founder, is joined by Cem Savas, who heads up one of its portfolio firms, Plentific, known for disrupting asset management across the housing association sector.
Speaking to Blackstock Consulting founder Andrew Teacher, the pair outline various ways in which innovation is already enabling firms across the built environment sector to drive solutions to various ESG challenges.
As Gregory Dewerpe, A/O PropTech’s founder says: “The ecosystem of real estate technologies has been really rapidly expanding over the last 18 months. I think the pandemic has definitely accelerated this and more and more large companies are now actively seeking technology-based solutions.”
Plentific has made its name working with some of the UK’s biggest housing associations, providing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to managing repairs and resident issues.
The firm is now expanding across the U.S. and Germany and looking to target other parts of the residential market – including build-to-rent, student housing and co-living.
Cem Savas, the co-founder of Plentific, explains how the fast-growing software firm thinks about ESG: “We support the E by making buildings better, the S by embracing local employment because our platform plugs into local traders, and the G by helping these massive organisations with improved governance issues. Many residential organisations face challenges due to assets they’ve acquired being poorly constructed or badly maintained.”
Plentific and Notting Hill Genesis are currently working closely together in order to improve the organisation’s governance and transparency.
Savas says that “because Notting Hill Genesis are so good at the “S”, the HA sector is in a great place to attract outside investment.” However, the HA sector typically lacks a good grip on data.
“Working with Plentific enables us to be in touch with our data,” says Elly Hoult, Notting Hill Genesis’s director of asset management. “It’s a platform that gives us total transparency on our processes. What our people see is what our residents see, and it’s a real step forward in terms of governance and transparency.”
The ecosystem of real estate technologies has been really rapidly expanding over the last 18 months. I think the pandemic has definitely accelerated this and more and more large companies are now actively seeking technology-based solutions.— Gregory Dewerpe , Founder, A/O PropTech
Whether tackling E, S, or G of ESG, it’s clear that collaboration and aligning the aims of both public interest and investors is the most effective way forward.
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