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WeTech Berlin

A Perfect Real Estate Storm Is Propelling Proptech, Says Real Estate Exec

Gregory Dewerpe, the founder of European venture capital firm A/O Proptech, spoke Thursday at Calcalist’s WeTech Berlin 2020 conference

Elihay Vidal | 15:30, 27.02.20
The property tech sector is currently experiencing a perfect storm where all players—investors, asset owners, renters, and regulators—propel the industry towards a major change, according to Gregory Dewerpe, the founder of European venture capital firm A/O Proptech. Dewerpe spoke about the future of urban space Thursday at Calcalist’s WeTech Berlin 2020 conference, held in collaboration with Israel’s Bank Leumi and German real estate company Aroundtown Property Holdings PLC. A/O Proptech has invested in companies including Rox, Venn, and Residently.

Over half of all global assets are real estate, creating a $230 trillion market, Dewerpe said. Housing expenditure is the biggest household expense, he said, and real estate is responsible for 40% of global energy use and 30% of global carbon emissions. Furthermore, the growth potential of proptech is enormous, because it is only in its infancy, and investors in the sector only invest 0.5% in research and development.

In recent years, renters have become more aware of aspects such as green energy and environmentally friendly materials, and thus are more demanding of their landlords, Dewerpe said. Asset owners understand that to provide those services, they require more efficient construction and better data analysis abilities, he said. Investors also understand there is great demand in the sector for new technologies and innovation, he added, and regulators also contribute to the change with new laws, such as those restricting carbon emissions.
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