BRIEFING: Investment in proptech set to explode to €18b by 2020

New technologies are fundamentally changing the real estate industry and the process is accelerating, delegates at the PropertyEU PropTech briefing heard earlier this week at the Provada real estate fair in Amsterdam. 

‘Forget location, the new battleground in real estate is technology, technology, technology,’ Jeroen Jansen, senior market analyst at Bouwinvest and chair of the RICS Research & Innovation Professional group in the Netherlands, said during a keynote presentation.

Proptech is everywhere, he added, pointing to new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality and the internet of things which allows computing devices embedded in everyday objects to send and receive data via the internet. Other disrupters include new platforms offering spare space like Deskbookers and Airbnb and a host of new technologies such as Blockchain, robotics and 3D printing, he added.

‘Every building incorporates as many as 20 initiatives that may support or challenge your business. The question we should all be asking ourselves is this: is my company agile enough to deal with the opportunities and threats of proptech?’

Jansen pointed out that investment in the proptech sector may have got off to a hesitant start, but is now exploding. According to a recent study by KPMG, as little as $220 mln was invested in the sector in 2012 but this is set to surge to $20 bn (€17.8 bn) by 2020, he noted.

‘There’s a real urgency now. Proptech has been around for the past 15 years, but we’re now at the start of a real acceleration.’

Jansen is the co-author of a new Dutch-language report focusing on the rise and growth of proptech together with fellow Dutchman Menno Lammers, founder and initiator of PropTechNL.