Metaprop Bridge Cohort 1
From left: Aaron Block, MetaProp; Henry Bennett, YourWelcome; Tomas Novotny, 720.io; Leila Collins,MetaProp; Emilie Elice-Label, Frontdoor; Arun Jayadev, Airlite; Alain Kapatashungu, Frontdoor; Tilman Pfeiffer, Airlite

Meet 4 European startups taking on the US market

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Nicola Byrne

Startups focused on areas such as air quality, short stay rentals and business intelligence make up the first group of MetaProp’s Bridge accelerator, at Columbia University. Meet the companies chosen by the firm for being the most innovative in their field.

YourWelcome has developed a technology hub for short stay rental owners. It can be used for a variety of things such as; creating a house manual where users can upload video guides, as well as pictures and written instructions; expert guides of the local area and maps can be shared; and as a way to sell services in the form of late check-outs, laundry and food delivery etc. The company currently partner with services such as Deliveroo, Uber, Just Eat, pay as u gym, laundrapp and many more.

Paul Loram

We chatted to COO, Paul Loram, and he explained what they’re looking to get out of the cross-border accelerator: “60-70% of our custom is now in the US so the MetaProp programme was interesting to us because we are effectively looking to transition, incorporate in to a US company.”

“We’re looking to build a sales team and start an office over there. With all the pitfalls of starting a US company, the MetaProp team are very well placed to be educating us and teaching us how to get to that point so that we can then formally go ahead as a US entity.”

“A lot of people in the US look on our website and see in our footer that it’s a London based company and we often get emails from people asking if we operate in the US. We’re hoping by having a primarily US address in our footer it will change people’s perceptions of the business so that we can focus on what we do, rather than focus on explaining where we’re based.”

YourWelcome isn’t stopping there as Loram revealed the company is around a month away from launching a second project: “It’s basically like an advanced check-in model. For instance, how you would check-in to a flight before you go, it’ll be a similar kind of tool but for checking into your short stay accommodation. We effectively allow a way for hosts to send a link in advance, which the guests can click through, check in, and either pay for the accommodation up front or put down some kind of deposit or a card holding. Then, for when they arrive we’ve got a better idea of exactly what time they arrive and what flight they’re getting, so that the host can manage things better and organise their turnovers more efficiently.

We’ve also got a whole host of other features and integrations that we’re joining the dots between those two products more efficiently.”

Airlite is a company based in the UK, Switzerland and Italy which uses paint to transform ordinary walls into natural air purifiers. The 100% natural paint eliminates up to 88.8% air pollution and 99.9% of bacteria, repels dust and airborne dirt, neutralises odours, eliminates and prevents mould, and cuts cooling costs by up to 50% by reducing the amount of solar heat absorbed. The paint is free from VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which can create bad air quality and can cause short- and long-term health problems.

720° is a Finnish company focusing on air quality by using cloud-based analytics to turn high quality environmental data into healthier facilities with happier tenants. The analytics automatically detect the following issues: material emission, low relative humidity, recurring odours, rapid fluctuations in temperature, high occupancy, disturbing noise and more. Noise can be an issue especially in open offices, so 720° use noise sensors that measure not only decibels, but also human speech through the Voice Activity Detection algorithm.

720 air quality analytics

French company Frontdoor creates real-time business intelligence for real estate agents by building tools that automate mundane tasks around scheduling, team collaboration and context. The company also helps renters expedite the apartment search process with an invisible AI agent, Stew.

The accelerator

MetaProp Bridge at Columbia University is the firm’s first ever cross-border accelerator program which connects leading early-stage proptech companies in EMEA to customers and capital in North America.

The first leg of the accelerator’s US roadshow began this week in Chicago and will head to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The four Bridge companies will meet with potential investors and customers at each stop, anchored by an intimate workshop in which local experts will work with the companies to plan their entry into the local market.

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