Helped by the Stamp Duty Holiday, the UK’s property market has rebounded after slowing down during lockdown. Last month, a record-breaking £37 billion of property sales were agreed, with some buyers even taking the opportunity to move out of cities and work from home full time.
Despite Covid-19, the UK’s $5 billion PropTech sector is also experiencing impressive growth in 2020. Analysis by Oxford Saïd Business School suggests that a ‘third wave’ of innovation is on the way, driven by climate change and urbanisation.
As M&A activity and VC funding increases in the sector, the race is on to become the next UK PropTech unicorn. With interest in PropTech now growing, we’ve pulled together a roundup of five innovative start-ups that are worth keeping an eye on.
Founded in 2018, Mashroom is an end-to-end lettings platform that uses technology and community to connect landlords with tenants while rewarding both. Put simply, Mashroom makes letting and renting property easier and more personal.
Mashroom helps landlords to find tenants and manage properties, from anywhere. It solves the problem of having to work with multiple agents to manage properties in different locations or the time drain of having to solve issues yourself, every time a light stops working or a dishwasher needs repairing.
For renters, Mashroom helps to solve the problem of finding new tenants to replace you when you want to move out of a flat-share or need to move out before your contract is finished. Rather than spending hours asking friends and colleagues or posting in Facebook groups, renters can earn a week’s rent by encouraging their landlords to sign up to the platform and hosting viewings with prospective tenants.
Hammock is a platform that provides current account and data analysis services for the property sector. Founded in 2019, Hammock saves landlords and property managers time and money managing finances.
Hammock makes it easy for landlords to manage finances. Even when you only have a few properties, it can be easy to lose track of when rent is due and which payments relate to which property.
It’s harder still to get a good and up-to-date view of performance across your whole portfolio of properties. Hammock solves the problem by bringing all the important information together under one roof and providing smart analytics to give landlords greater insight into their investments.
Hammock also works with letting agents. It helps to solve common issues like recording and reconciling payments from tenants. As a small business ourselves, we know just how time-consuming that can be.
Founded in 2018, Movewise provides an end-to-end property sales service. Movewise works with tech-savvy agents across the UK to coordinate the sales and marketing process for property owners.
Selling a property can take a lot of time and effort. There can be frustrating periods when you don’t hear anything for days and weeks. Rather than putting all their eggs in one basket and waiting months for an agent to hopefully find a buyer, Movewise helps property owners to achieve the best possible price and sell sooner, by marketing properties through multiple local agents.
For agents, Movewise offers repeat business and an easy way to get more properties on and off their books quickly. As bricks-and-mortar agents compete with online-only players, Movewise presents an opportunity to use local knowledge as an advantage to secure a quick sale and a good price for sellers.
Founded in 2016, Howsy caters to renters and landlords who are fed up of being charged sky-high fees by unscrupulous lettings agents and property managers.
Howsy helps renters to find a place to live without having to stump up a large deposit and multiple fees. Renters can browse properties, book viewings online and move in without any upfront costs. If any issues arise or repairs are needed, support is available 24/7 and easy-to-track using a clever dashboard. Renters can avoid having to save or borrow a deposit by signing up to a small monthly subscription or can choose to use a free service and pay a security deposit of up to six weeks.
For landlords, Howsy helps to solve the problem of finding tenants and managing properties. It offers a complete end-to-end property management service, managed via an online dashboard.
French start-up Unlatch is focusing on expanding into the UK and Spain. Unlatch was created in 2018 by the founders of LegaLife, a pioneer in automated contracts, to accelerate property sales.
Unlatch offers an innovative approach to selling new-builds. For developers, selling new properties can require a lot of time, effort and paperwork. Unlatch removes the hassle by making it easier to manage sales and collaborate with multiple third parties like mortgage brokers and solicitors.
Its customer portal provides buyers with all the information and updates they need at every stage of the home buying process, saving time returning phone calls and emails and speeding up property sales.
For brokers, Unlatch helps to lessen the pain of being the ‘middle-man’ between buyer and developer. It helps brokers to digitise by providing tools for managing sales and working with third parties online.