If you opened LinkedIn this morning you may have seen a notice that PropTech pundits James Dearsley and Eddie Holmes have new positions as “co-founders of Unissu.” This new company was started by the two to be a data aggregator and insight generator for the PropTech industry.
Explaining the reasoning behind his new company Dearsley said, “The PropTech ecosystem is growing incredibly quickly around the world but there is no single source to help the property industry understand what is actually happening. This has often left the industry struggling to grasp what is needed for their businesses and, even if they have made decisions on their PropTech strategies, they have made those decisions based on the part of the iceberg that they can see above the water.”
I emailed James and asked him more about his new venture. My first question was about his definition of PropTech. Since we often find ourselves in (mostly) civil arguments about what constitutes property technology, I know how gray the edges can be. “PropTech is one small part of the wider digital transformation of the property industry. It describes a movement driving a mentality change within the real estate industry and its consumers regarding technology-driven innovation in the data assembly, transaction, and design of buildings and cities,” James replied.
He also added that this will be the first platform to bring together construction and property technology. “They are treated as completely separate industries and thus the two really do not mix. PropTech generally includes planning tech systems but then skips construction and straight to the buy/sell/manage option. This is crazy and isn’t giving anyone a full picture of what is out there.”
While they have no immediate plans to monetize the data, he eventually thinks that his company, “may be intrinsically linked to enable the testing of different markets in a cost-effective way.”
When I asked him how he thinks this will help the property industry he told me that he thinks that it will enable a better understanding of the technologies for those working in it globally. “PropTech is impacting them but they are not seeing the full story of PropTech companies to look at. They can’t research the market well and certainly not with any degree of accuracy and it is time-consuming and inefficient.” He also sees this as a way for PropTech investors to save time and money by not having to employ a research team to understand their investment options.
We have long held the belief that many industries need to come together if we are going to change the way that humans design and interact with our built spaces. Creating an easily accessible database that can help even those new to PropTech understand what technologies are available and who is offering them is absolutely in line with that goal. We applaud James and Eddie on the creation of their new company and hope to help them disseminate the insights that they learn from it in the near future.