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It comes to no surprise that fintech is the kingmaker in the African investment space. After all, the value of this is set to exceed $7 billion. However, while 60% of that is attributed to fintech, proptech is slowly but surely gaining momentum.
Global investment in proptech topped $32 billion in 2021, up 28% from a dire, Covid-hit 2020 and 3.23% up from 2019, according to the Centre for Real Estate Technology & Innovation’s 2021 Real Estate Tech Venture Funding Report.
“Proptech is democratising an industry that covers one of humanity’s essential needs – everyone needs a roof over their heads,” says Flow co-founder and co-CEO Gil Sperling. “The real estate industry was being left behind in the world of online transactions because of their complex and expensive nature – it’s a massively fragmented space.”
“The online audience in South Africa has grown immensely over the last two years – out of necessity – so brands have been working hard to meet consumers online and make them more comfortable with transacting there,” says Daniel Levy, co-CEO and co-founder of Flow.
“Proptech is one of the fastest-growing spaces in South African tech right now because consumers are using the online space to meet more of their needs – and an essential like property is a huge one.”
Flow is ‘barometer of proptech growth’
Sperling says that if Flow is a barometer of the growth of adoption of proptech in SA, things are looking bright. “We’re seeing 30% month-on-month growth, with a 10x growth in property-related social spend over the last 12 months,” he says. “Those are the kind of numbers that make investors take notice of a sector.”
Metaprop’s Year-End 2021 Global Proptech Confidence Index showed that 71% of investors expect to make more proptech investments over the next 12 months, up from 54% six months ago. Up to 49% of proptech funding went to residential tech, with just 7.6% of that investment focusing on commercial owners and tenants.