New proptech business models led by the UK and US

The US and UK lead the way with tech solutions to solve current pain points in the property industry.

  • and provide sellers with cash offers for their homes. This means short sales cycles, immediate cash payments, and avoiding dozens of visitors and inspectors.

  • creates instant liquidity in the rental market, giving landlords an immediate offer for their property, and then handling all leasing and property management to produce a stable return.

  • provides on-demand access to private spaces in convenient locations across major cities, for 30 minutes or longer. The company designs and equips spaces to suit consumer needs — meetings, study sessions, or company off-sites. In this way, Breather extracts high yield from low-visibility locations.

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  • takes the pain out of living with roommates by providing a layer of value added services. It charges a subscription (rent) fee, and allows members to switch between houses with a 24-hour notice.

  • Ziferblat is an “anti cafe” — a place where everything is free, except time. Visitors can walk in to work, chat, play the piano or attend events. The cost is 5 pence per minute.

  • “Anti cafes” were born in Europe, but larger versions are now appearing in Asia. CAMP in Chiang Mai, Thailand, provides 2 hours of WiFi access in exchange for a minimal payment for snacks. The customers are a mix of tech workers and students doing their homework.

  • The 9 Hours Hotel is an upscale version of the Japanese capsule hotel. Visitors enjoy access to plush amenities, a hot bath, and a special lighting and sound system designed for peaceful sleep. Access is regulated by QR codes, and the service is priced per nap, per bath, or per day — unbundling the standard 24-hour hotel stay.

  • Kasita is a prefabricated micro-home fitted with central heating and cooling, a queen-sized bed, full shower, dual induction cooktop, microwave/oven, washer/dryer, refrigerator, and the latest IoT technology. It can stand on its own, or racked together with other units — unbundling traditional apartment buildings.

  • is a map-based property search engine that utilises smart algorithms to provide consumers and agents a fast, transparent, and efficient property search experience in Singapore.

  • Ohmyhome is a real estate platform where HDB flat owners in Singapore and searchers are connected directly to each other for free. Users can buy, sell or rent HDB flats without the need for property agents.

  • Purplebricks allows people to oversee every aspect of their property transaction as it happens, at the touch of a button, rather than waiting for an estate agents office to open. It provides a full set of 24/7 management tools at varying flat rates for different locations in the UK.

  • Appear Here works with both landlords that are looking to find short-term tenants for their space (e.g. Boxpark, Westfield or market stalls) and brands/retailers that are looking for the perfect space to display out of e.g. Apple, Dior).

On the financial front, the value of assets is also being unbundled:

  • allows owners to sell a small percentage of their home equity, effectively bringing in a preferred shareholder in exchange for cash.
  • and unbundle traditional REITs, allowing very small investors to access mid-market assets for low fees.
  •, an online lender backed by one of China’s leading VCs, allows borrowers to use naked selfies as collateral. Welcome to the “sharing” economy.

Source: Dror Poleg, Khalil Adis and various.


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