Real-estate Tech Start-ups disrupting the industry
Real-estate represents a major asset class across the country but has been a slow adopter of technology. This is about to change with some enthusiastic novel start-ups ready to disrupt the sector. Sapna Srivastava briefs on some of the innovator companies being mentored by Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program (REAP).
Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program (REAP) office in Bengaluru is a self-contained work space that has the buzz of creativity and an air of innovation as various start-up companies working in their respective domains are also able to delve in knowledge sharing given the common premises. The programme has also forged partnerships with Cisco, Intel and Microsoft for technology mentorship and with JLL for Go-To-Market and use cases.
M.R Jaishankar, Chairman & Managing Director. Brigade Group, elaborating on the company’s plans in this direction said, “Our focus is to mentor high quality tech focused start-ups adding value to the real-estate industry at large. Another initiative of the Brigade Group is the all women project team for some of our projects. We also plan to start a skill development institute for providing skill training at all levels for the realty professionals.”
Brainchild of Nirupa Shankar, the Director Brigade Hospitality services, the accelerator program aims at giving young companies access to domain knowledge, ground realities and reach to the relevant t real-estate customers. “Many companies would come to us with innovative solutions which used to be bright ideas but needed tweaking as per the realty industry. In order to help these companies and make them market ready, we launched REAP in 2016 to mentor the carefully selected companies and be their pilot customer as well. Our goal is to help innovators market their products effectively and create a sustainable and scalable business.”
John Kuruvilla, the Chief Mentor is steering the accelerator programme. He ensures that innovative ideas are not lost in translation, but are able to find practical application as needed by the realty sector. “The REAP’s four month program gives the start-ups a straight forward approach as per their product and business potential with an eye to the on-ground challenges.”
For start-ups to qualify for the programme they must have technology focus in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), Nanotechnology, Clean-tech and Renewables, Visual Computing and Logistics & Supply chain that can deliver significant impact to the real-estate sector. The companies should have minimum two promoters, seed investment and a revenue stream. Here’s a look at few of REAP start-ups putting their ideas into action.
WEGOT – The result of two years of research by the company to produce the world’s most economical ultrasonic sensor, VenAqua, is designed for a multiple inlet plumbing layout. It guarantees greater than 99% accuracy & zero moving parts ensuring that it lasts forever. As Abilash Haridass, Co- Founder & CMO added, “Since our first pilot in AKDR / Bay View, Chennai in 2014, we have now implemented VenAqua in more than 2000 homes and saved more than 30 Million litres of water in first 2 years of existence. Our next introduction is MinTix and EriKa to help conserve and reduce electricity and gas usage WEGoT is striving to provide an integrated Utility Management system with real time analytics to conserve essential utilities.”
ECOSTP – This Patent Pending sewage treatment technology based on gravity and natural processes works independent from power supply and daily surveillance. The ecological solution can treat waste ranging from 1 Kilo litres per day to 1 Million Litres per day. Tharun Kumar who drives the company’s strategic vision elaborated, “The ecoSTP technology does not use chemicals or energy to treat the water. Instead, it uses a combination of microorganisms, plants and gravel to clean sewage water, completing the ‘cradle to cradle’ sustainable lifecycle. Since it is built underground, further construction can be done above it. Also, as no air is required in this method, there is no foul smell. Low operational and maintenance costs, and no electricity requirement are some of the other benefits.”
SYNCONEXT – The Company’s IoT technology product, IQnext® converge buildings, spaces and people, enabling them to interact with one another seamlessly. Using its own cloud based software, their customers can access and monitor real-time usage of energy and space and visualize building performance. Further, using the data and analytics platform, actionable insights are provided to the customers to maximize energy savings, optimize space usage which helps reduce costs and improve efficiency. Vishal Jain, Founder & CEO said, “We are an IoT startup designing first of its kind productivity systems for commercial real-estate spaces. Our sensor- gateway-software system ensures employee comfort, energy savings, and hands off controls to help all things electronic to ‘talk’ to each other, and thus function seamlessly, remotely and economically.”
NATURA – The urban plantscaping company has developed the Natura Super Absorbent Polymer Substrate (NSAP), a proprietary lightweight modular media slab, which is easy to use and requires 6 times less water than soil-based media. Combining natural coir fibre with a proprietary adhesive and compression formula, Natura Geomat and the Natura Coir Hardboard product’s capillary action ensures no seepage and dampness. These materials are natural insulants and thereby help reduce temperatures by up to 6 degrees Celsius. Tommy Mathew, Managing Director briefed on the solutions, “Natura’s Green Roof needs reduced depth and weighs much less than conventional systems thereby reducing building’s dead load and structural costs. Natura’s Green Wall System with 16 plants per sqft provides 4 times better plant mortality than market.”
Indian real-estate sector is at a crucial juncture of becoming an organized industry. The new technology start-ups can change the way developers construct, develop and maintain their projects. For sure, the right direction and guidance in helping young companies scale up will in return enable the sector to become tech-savvy, driving resource and cost efficiency.