18.5.21

A European PropTech View, with Joe Hamari from Smartvatten.

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

18.5.21

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 month we will 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 as much as we have. 

This week we have been in touch with Joe Hamari, Co-Founder and CSO at Smartvatten . 

Smartvatten is a water consumption monitoring service that helps you stop flushing money down the drain and catch plumbing leaks before it’s too late. Their remote monitoring service consists of a camera that monitors your main water meter around the clock, and a cloud-based service that records data on a server in real-time. It analyzes changes in consumption patterns and notifies your maintenance team immediately if there's a deviation. With detailed consumption reports and automatic leak alerts, you are able to increase room availability, reduce operational costs, and decrease the environmental impact of your business. For only €2 per day per water meter, it's an investment you can't afford not to make! The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Espoo, Southern Finland.

How did you find yourself working in PropTech?

Actually, it started already when I was 19 when I established a side branch for a house manufacturer in the Helsinki region. In 2011 I joined a startup focused on energy optimization and it became the fastest growing company in Finland and was sold to AAC and merged with an automation and manufacturing company.

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

In 2014 there wasn’t that much discussion around water and especially within larger property portfolio owners there really wasn’t a turnkey solution to make your properties water efficient. Simultaneously our ROI calculations with Finnish water prices was showing 1-3 year payback times. It was then we decided to be the best in this sector. Nowadays we can provide a full extend service from monitoring to water saving even to our international corporate clients. We are really proud of this.

What challenges has your business come across?

Discussions in PropTech too often starts from the technological capabilities instead of customer needs. Far too many start up’s make a mistake to leave the customer with an overflow on techonoligal jargon. It’s about communicating clearly and making things easy for our clients. For Smartvatten we will for example ensure that our customers will have the best possible water data and value added throughout their portfolios even globally. We are utilizing several technologies to arrange this but that’s our headache to solve, not the customers.

What are your long-term plans for your business?

We have defined our vision to be the partner of choice for property owner clients when it comes to water efficiency on a global level. Each day I see how this is becoming reality based upon the development of our client portfolio. Together with our clients we are already saving hundreds of millions of liters of fresh water each year.

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

I can’t go on without mentioning COVID-19 and how organizations can adapt and use the best parts of the new ways of working and not go back to old habits right after this situation is over. I can see even in our company how drastically Smartvatten’s own sustainability performance has improved due to a reduction in travel. I would like to see elements of this as a new normal from an ecological footprint perspective.

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

Whether or not there is a system integration opportunity. Typically, our customers are already using a BEMS or BMS platform; most of them several different solutions. Therefore, it’s important that Smartvatten is able to integrate with these system solution providers. In fact, we have now over 50 integrations with leading software providers. For our partners we are also enabling leak alarms through API.


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