Proptech — Dynamics in the real estate industry
Meanwhile, PropTech is a real hype among VC investors. But when we decided in 2015 to establish Vito ONE as the first fund in Germany to specialize in this area, few had recognized the great opportunities. For us, PropTech encompasses the entire value chain — from the real estate market to the construction and energy sectors. We are talking about economic sectors of immense size. This is what makes the topic so attractive for us as a VC investor. Global sales — in the construction industry alone — are estimated at $13 trillion. And these fast-growing markets are still very fragmented and, above all, little digitized.
We assume that the topic of PropTech is entering a decisive phase. The numbers bear this out: in 2017, VCs invested over $5 billion in PropTech — more than 150 times the $33 million invested in 2010. The situation is similar for ConstructionTech: Investments here increased by 30 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year.
Since we occupied the topic with Vito ONE at a very early stage, we were able to build up a relevant network. We provide our portfolio companies with access to partners, customers, talent and other capital.
For me, it is clear that we can only move forward together in Germany and in Europe. We need to agree on fundamental issues and speak with one voice. This is also the only way to promote and secure technological excellence throughout Europe. For this, however, we need new ways and open platforms that enable greater networking among all players and, at the same time, earlier access to knowledge, talent, technologies and capital for all. The example of the uber-tech location Silicon Valley shows very clearly how important a functioning ecosystem is — and will be even more important in the long term.
As a VC, I naturally also have a social responsibility. That’s exactly why I’m a co-founder of the 1E9 think tank, which is essentially a curated network that looks at future technologies. In other words, 1E9 is an international community of thought leaders and entrepreneurs united by the vision of creating a positive optimistic picture of the future. To ensure that the ideas generated in the think tank also reach a broad public, 1E9 includes its own tech magazine, which is backed by the former WIRED Germany team. Incidentally, the official launch of the project will be a conference in Munich on July 11, 2019. For those who want to be there: Use the code “FYBx1E9” for a 20 percent discount on tickets. I would be happy to meet many there!
In a relatively short time, we have built up a top portfolio with 20 investments. In doing so, we focus on the whole of Europe. Nordic startups in particular are very strong in PropTech, which is why we just closed our second investment in Norway. As I said, our investments are found along the entire value chain: for example, we are invested in Building Radar, an AI-powered search engine for construction projects, the computer vision startup for the construction phase Imerso, and the housing platform home.ht. But it also includes startups like gridx or simplinic, both IoT providers for the energy sector and hospitals, respectively. We were able to complete a successful exit in 2018 with the digital real estate broker Homeday to Axel Springer.
About Vito One
Vito One is not a new name for the early-stage investor Vito Ventures, but another investment arm around the Viessmann Group. Vito One invests between 50,000 and 300,000 euros in the pre-seed and seed phases. Vito One invests in companies from the IoT, energy and PropTech segments.
About Daria Saharova
Vito One is managed by Daria Saharova. The Munich resident by choice was previously Principal at Vito Ventures, Investment Manager at SevenVentures and Associate at KMC Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures. She also gained experience as the founder of Bellegs.