The Artificial Intelligence property management platform, which acts as a digital assistant for agents, property managers, and landlords by eliminating mundane tasks, will receive funding and support from the global tech company.
Google will take an undisclosed equity stake in AskPorter in return for the funding and resources from its technical, product and business development teams.
Tom Shrive, founder & CEO of AskPorter, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected as the Google Assistant Investment Program’s first international investment. It’s incredibly exciting to be able to work with the experts at Google to improve the AI and machine learning technology that powers Porter.
“We will be using the funds to attract more world-class talent into our team and build out product in preparation for our Series A early next year, for which we are seeing strong interest from investors.”
AskPorter is currently in the process of doubling the team to 8 over the next 6 months, including hiring a new chief technology officer, a position currently undertaken by Tom himself, to take the product to the next level and add “technical rigor”.
As well as improving the core features and functionalities of the platform, Tom added that “the 2 parts of the product we’re focusing on are the tenant experience, which is how we engage with the tenant, and how we recommend next steps and next actions for the manager as well.
“It’s now got to the point where we’ve started to capture a lot of data and we’re able to start looking at the data we’re collecting and use it to help people not necessarily just to automate, but to also advise. Based on previous actions taken by an agent, the platform will recommend the best practice next step, the more scenarios we encounter, the more able the platform becomes at recommendation.
“Lots of the property managers that we speak to give us the impression that it’s a pretty intense job for them, with a lot of firefighting involved. I think the simpler we can make the product the better really.”
The platform, which is currently being used by 10 companies, will see a further 15 property agencies and landlords signed up over the next 6 months through the launch of its ‘Porter Pioneers’ programme. The AskPorter technical and property team will work closely with the pioneers to automate their workflows and challenges, covering anything involved with asset management: from qualifying potential leads to collecting service charge payments, reconciling invoices and tenants having no heating.
The pioneers were selected by AskPorter from a pool of 130 qualified leads of companies that registered interest either through the AskPorter website or contacting them directly. AskPorter will gradually add more customers to the platform over time to ensure the startup is providing its clients with enough support and the product is right for them.
Curran McKay, chief commercial officer at AskPorter, added: “By staging our onboarding, the ‘Porter Pioneers’ programme will provide these 15 clients with an unparalleled opportunity to transform their business in a low-cost, low-risk way. We will combine pioneering natural language processing and machine learning technology alongside a consultative approach, working closely over six months we will provide these companies with a state-of-the-art AI property management platform.”