Nov 06, 2019 — Rising investments, interest of large groups, multiplication of start-ups: the ingredients are there to move the sector.
This time the mastodon seems determined to move. Heavyweight economy (10% of French GDP), real estate was not known for its agility or its appetite for change. But now, real estate innovation is no longer limited to a few geeks or atypical entrepreneurs, it affects the sector as a whole. It is no coincidence that Rent (Real Estate & New Tech), the new real estate technologies fair, which opens this Wednesday in Paris, changes dimension.
For its 2019 edition, the grand-mass proptech (real estate start-ups) doubles in size from 6,000 to 15,000 m 2 and bringing together 400 exhibitors instead of 200. And to mark this passage to the adulthood, the show opens its new clothes, leaving la Villette to join Pavilion 6 of the Exhibition Center, dedicated to new technologies, just completed by Jean Nouvel. "We intend to make this show a true label of proptech, says Stephane Scarella, director of Rent . We have put startups back at the center of this event and hope to bring our start-up village to the international stage. " No less than 120 start-ups related to real estate have been gathered and nearly 8,000 visitors are expected.
Proof that these new technologies are now essential, all the big names in the sector have a structure dedicated to innovation and / or a start-up incubator. Thus Nexity has a Nexity Lab and a "start-up studio" while Vinci put on Leonard, its "foresight and innovation platform" or that Icade has just launched Urban Odyssey, a structure in partnership with the incubator HEC. And networks of real estate agents are not left behind: Orpi has entered into a partnership with the historic incubator of Silicon Valley, Plug and Play, while Fnaim has launched its Fnaim Lab.
Having structures to stimulate innovation is good, but massively injecting capital is better. On this side, the sector can do better. Certainly, the fundraising progress year on year and reached 188 million euros over one year, at the end of September, according to the barometer conducted by Le Journal du Net. But that still represents only 4% of the sums invested in French start-ups over the same period and a drop of water compared to the sums committed in the United States. Facebook, which is now very interested in real estate, has just put on the table a billion dollars to improve social housing in the city of San Francisco.
Sign of the change in progress, the US fund Fifth Wall, the leading real estate venture capital firm with a billion dollars of funds under mandate now turns to Europe. The Gecina group thus becomes its first French partner and will invest 20 million dollars in a fund of this Californian company. Next step envisaged: bet on European start-ups. "Europe is more advanced than the United States on sustainable development or coliving," says Brendan Wallace, co-founder of Fifth Wall. We could invest in those areas. "