Pi Labs has held its third demo Day with five Proptech companies presenting to a room full of potential investors at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.
The companies were subject to a three-month long specialist programme to help them refine their businesses, start generating revenue and become ‘investor ready’.
In exchange for the mentorship and a small capital injection, Pi Labs takes a small equity stake in each of the Proptech start-ups.
The five companies forming the latest batch were:
Insight Residential uses data to “help investors and the 19,000 midsize developers see the market before the market”. They gave an example of a blog post showing Holloway would go up – and it subsequently appreciated 30% in 20 months, when agents thought much less was possible. They claim to bring together 160 datasets that 50% of information in the system can’t be sourced from anywhere else. They also claim no-one else does this and they’re a year ahead of anyone trying to do this (although Placemake.io might dispute that…).
Office App offers one app to control all the sensors and tech inside offices. The app plugs into systems and partners (like food delivery service Deliveroo) so office staff can book meeting rooms, report broken printers, get access to the building and more. They claim clients such as Ernst & Young and World Trade Centre are using the app and it takes half a day to integrate. The app costs £4 per employee per month and they claim to have 2.5m people in their sales pipeline within the Dutch and UK markets. The start-up says it has generated over £100k of revenue so far and currently £8k a month of recurring revenue.
Industry Hub is for property professionals who find it frustrating to find suppliers. The service allows suppliers to tag themselves to the services and products they supplied to building projects, so anyone using Industry Hub can see who is responsible for work that they might admire and quickly be able to get in touch. They plan on an augmented reality app similar to a ‘Pokemon Go for construction suppliers’. They tout a revenue model similar to LinkedIn with a lot for free plus premium features like a Pinterest style notebook tool + advanced search (the Pokemon Go style AR app). They were keen to state that in a potentially slowing market (for construction), visibility for more work is even more important (for suppliers). The company wanted to raise £650k but their fundraising efforts have been “over-subscribed” and so are now raising £1m.
Unihood is a student accommodation booking platform for Asian students, which generated £120k revenue last year and is raising £500k to relaunch with technology to help customers book online (as opposed to via social media like WeChat – the Whatsapp equivalent that is dominant in Asia). They compared themselves favourably to the larger Student.com and Uniplaces which their presentation stated had £150m and £10m of annual bookings respectively.
Urban Intelligence offers technology to help with developers with site appraisal. They want to provide developers with the ability to appraise a site in minutes rather than weeks. They also have a planning policy search engine and want to offer a service guiding developers through the planning process. Their presentation claimed that there was £12.2bn spent on the planning process last year in the UK with a total of 645k applications. The company is raising (what seems like a statutory amount) £500k. The founder finished by saying: “Planning has a big part to play in solving problems like housing and climate change – we hope we can get people’s heads up (and away from the politics).”
Pi Labs managing partner Dominic Wilson closed the event saying this group of start-ups was the “best cohort to date and that he had “absolute confidence that you’ll go on to bigger and better things”.
After the presentations Eye asked members of the audience what their thoughts were. One person who turned out to be an investor in Industry Hub said: “The pitches were of the highest quality.”
James Gambrell, a property entrepreneur, remarked of the founders that they were “all very passionate about their products, and as an investor you have to be comfortable that the founder is passionate and has the knowledge that can drive the business forwards”.
The best line however came from a Proptech entrepreneur in the audience who summed up the day with “PI Labs seems to be getting more legit”.