Tech investor Oded Eliashiv shares his pick from his stable of startups.
With Covid-19 continuing to impact the property world, a number of innovative Israeli proptech companies are developing creative ways to assist building owners, managers, and agents during these difficult times. According to IVC Research Center, there are approximately 8,300 active startups in Israel. These include a growing number of proptech companies, some of which are already active in the European market.
Below are four of my Israeli-based startups that are helping lead the way in this Covid-19 environment:
Virtual Building Tools – Augmind
In Europe and elsewhere, virtual building tools are increasingly being used to market properties to prospective clients. Tel Aviv-based Augmind is differentiating itself by focusing on enhancing virtual marketing for new developments through the use of hyper-realism design, Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR). The company combines its proprietary technology and artistry to minimise the time and costs of content creation, while maximising the ability of 3D visuals to run smoothly in real time.
With the Augmind solution, real estate developers can showcase their properties or construction projects, both inside and outside, in AR and VR in a realistic way. As a result, users can now view and design their future home directly on their mobile devices, and see how the results react and adjust in real time with zero latency. For example, they can choose which couch to place in the living room and change its colours, modify the lighting and see how it affects the entire area, and even choose their own kitchen. This allows developers and agents to engage with their clients more effectively, as well as offer a unique experience and perspective to potential buyers.
Automated Building Services – MyTower
“No touch” automated building services are increasingly being used in residential and office buildings throughout the world. One Israeli company spearheading this technology is MyTower, which uses artificial and business intelligence tools to analyse a property’s data and develop better maintenance systems, as well as improve the management of people and their experiences within a building. The platform can monitor visitors, vehicles, deliveries, and other services as well as remotely facilitate tenant communication, report maintenance issues, and respond to changing circumstances such as reduced air quality and rapid temperature fluctuations.
MyTower’s platform was able to quickly adapt to Covid-19 and provide new amenities, services, and ways of communication for its clients and their tenants. GindiTLV, a residential community in Israel with more than 1,400 apartments, utilised the platform to effectively communicate with tenants, as well as offer new at-home concierge services, deliveries from local suppliers, and more. With MyTower, Gindi was also able to provide add-ons to monitor tenants and visitors for Covid-19 in a number of ways including automatic temperature checks at each building entrance, while continuing to safely operate common facilities and public spaces during the pandemic.
Construction Site Safety – Trusstor
Trusstor is a next generation on-site command and control system powered by real-time location and site condition sensors, creating a safer and more productive working environment for the construction industry. The system provides a number of benefits for construction site management, including real-time monitoring and enforcement of health and safety regulations. Under the new reality of Covid-19, additional features have been integrated such as social distancing and epidemiological inquiry, all by using on-site monitoring and control of building activities including asset location, site conditions, and overall workflow.
By developing data collecting abilities, Trusstor enables quality data gathering and utilisation – also referred to as ‘Construction Intelligence’ – assisting site management without creating additional overhead to their already intensive daily operations.
Blockchain Financing – SolidBlock
SolidBlock, which is headquartered in Jerusalem, uses real estate asset tokenisation to transform real estate into a tradable financial product, providing investors with the opportunity to buy shares in a property without owning the entire asset.
Recently, the company partnered with UK investment firm London Chelsea to raise financing for London Digital Bond, a new property company that invests in prime residential real estate in London. This was SolidBlock’s first tokenised project in the UK, and the first time a single-family fund was financed through blockchain-based securities. The company is also known for tokenising the St Regis Resort in Aspen, Colorado, the first commercial property in the world financed this way.
Now more than ever, technology is becoming essential to real estate owners, developers, managers and investors, and cutting-edge Israeli companies are at the forefront of this disruption.
Oded Eliashiv is principal and founding managing partner of BuiltUp Ventures, which invests in innovative, early-stage Israeli proptech companies. He is also managing partner of B-Seed, an investment arm of Besadno Group that invests in early-stage technology firms. A longtime entrepreneur, he has founded and led multiple startups including EPOS, a provider of advanced digital positioning technology to the PC peripheral, notebook and touch-screen markets.