27.7.21

A European PropTech View, Daniel Grube, wirbauen.digital

Welcome back to 'A European PropTech View, by Dilan Omari-Clark' our Q&A focused on European PropTech's.

27.7.21

Our Q&A series is an opportunity for our European team, headed up by Dilan Omari-Clark to discuss all things PropTech, Start-ups, and Career with different founders from across the continent. Each week we ask our guests some burning questions and quiz them about their product, we hope you find it insightful and enjoy getting to know the founders. 

This week we have been in touch with Daniel Grube, co-founder of wirbauen.digital.

wirbauen.digital is the platform solution for the construction industry that connects all stakeholders involved in the project with the construction work. This includes the investor/constructor to the architect, to the craftsman. Project information is exchanged here transparently and without intersections, which ensures greater efficiency in the construction process.The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Cologne, Germany. 

How did you find yourself working in the PropTech sector?

I met my co-founder, Lukas Büdenbender, and the successor of a craft business, through the association “DIE JUNGEN UNTERNEHMER” and came to talk. As both of us had ideas for a digital application for the construction sector, our concepts were complementary as well as our areas of expertise. One thing led to another, we unified our visions and here we are with wirbauen.digital, a tool for completely digital documentation of the construction progress. Based on GAEB files, a standardized file format for data exchange in the construction industry, the construction progress is tracked (5-D BIM ready) and all those involved in a project are connected, from the investor/house owner to the architect to the craftsman. Subsequently, we strive for the digital revolution of the whole construction industry.

At what point did you realise there was a gap in the market and you had the product for it?

There have been and still are analyses supporting the fact that the construction industry in Germany is the highest behind on digitalization.

Loss of information and uncertainty are two of the main issues on the construction site. A considerable deal of data is lost through analog processes. For example, in the evening, the foreman calls his boss and describes what he has done in the day. Some of the conveyed information can be crucial for the future but can easily be lost as a result of the information laying in the hands of a telephone call. These processes of data sharing, data collection, and efficiency are aged and inefficient.

Lukas and I realized the gap and initiated the solution as we believed (and still believe) in the enormous potential for growth.

What are the challenges in PropTech for your company?

We currently face two challenges:

  1. Getting the word out: The construction industry has a lot of potential regarding digitalization, therefore spreading the word, for there to be an understanding of how our solution works can prove challenging. Construction company’s predominantly analog processes work for them. Hence, we need to help them understand that even though their processes work, to be successful in the future and meet new requirements they’re almost obligated to digitalize.

  2. Change: The people within the industry are comfortable with their processes. Integrating something digital will impact their approach of working, which potentially can be seen as too big of an endeavor and particularly an investment which consumes too much time.

Future of PropTech, what do you think is going to be important this year?

The construction industry is currently hampered by the procurement of building materials. Concrete, copper, steel, and wood are rising to extreme prices due to the scarcity of materials. Many suppliers and producers won’t be able to deliver promised materials before the end of the year, which has a noticeable effect on innovation in the industry. Due to the current challenges, people working in the industry focus on their operational business rather than innovation and digital solution to improve their business in the future. This certainly hampers the pace of the development of the PropTech industry.

Nevertheless, I think that the COVID pandemic had positive effects on the industry as the need for digital solutions increases. Digital solutions can improve areas such as time efficiency, data collection, and above all, resource allocation. I think that convincing people within the industry to invest some resources in digital solutions that may help them to overcome challenging times like this will be one of the important factors this year.

What is a frequently asked question you get about your product?

How did prior transitions from analog to wirbauen.digital go? Why should we use wirbauen.digital when everything is working just fine at the moment? These valid questions give us the opportunity to place significance on becoming digital. Other industry’s digital transitions have happened, are still happening and now need to happen in the construction industry. With wirbauen.digital we can essentially guarantee them to be more efficient and have exceptional data collection, which will subsequently allow them to keep up with the market competition. 

So far our users needed a transition period, usually a couple of days, to use wirbauen.digital at its full potential.

 

210422 Laptop & Handy Projektübersicht

 

What are your long-term plans for your business?

We have developed an excellent tool from craftsmen to craftsmen, however, the process and development are never 100% finished. Our plans are to further implement more functions, grow competitively and keep up with digital changes. The DACH-market offers a lot of growth potential, but we have designed our business from day one, to gain a foothold outside the German market.

When speaking of growth, we like to emphasize sustainable growth, not losing the DNA of a family business or an owner-managed business.

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