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Launching a PropTech in the UK.

Are you looking to grow your company internationally and want to break into the UK market?

We hosted a webinar, in partnership with UKPA and took the opportunity to explore why the UK is such a fertile market for launching a PropTech company.

LMRE  Co-founder Brad Bartlett was joined by Jonathan Mills (Osborne Clark), Katie Whipp (Deepki), Bronny Wilson (Equiem) and Miguel Nigorra Esteban (Fifth wall).

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Below are the 5 key learnings from the session below:

1) Sales, Sales, Sales 

A successful launch will ultimately come down to winning new clients in your desired market. Bronny outlined the importance of being able to meet the clients face to face and show the product in the best light. A lot of hard work goes in to nurturing clients with lots of touch points and that face to face contact (although harder now) had a vital part to play in pushing potential clients along the sales funnel. There are also a good number of Property funds, Investment and Asset managers with their HQ’s in London.

2) The UK PropTech community are open to ideas

Having attended a number of virtual and physical events over the last few years, I fully echo the panels thoughts on the Proptech community being very helpful. Whether it is our very own UKPA, or events such as CRETech (previously Future Proptech) there are plenty of chances to catch up with partners, potential clients and check out the competitive landscape. Also events such as Relevation, which we are a sponsoring partner for is a unmissable opportunity for those breaking into the market. Their sole purpose is to facilitate investments in the PropTech space by introducing founders to VC's, and VC's to LP's.

3) Team support

Launching on your own is colossal venture and very difficult task singlehandedly. The panel stressed the importance of leveraging on the existing team in tech and sales/account management through to senior management support. It is also important to hire a team on the ground swiftly to help with the efforts and would suggest this is true of any new market launch. Using a specialist talent management agency such as LMRE can help find the most suitable candidate for the role. Our aim is to be fully embedded in your culture and invested in your future to help save valuable time and money.

4) Product Market Fit 

Miguel and Katie both agreed on the importance of Product market fit. Of course when choosing investments, VC firms want to be confident the product can launch in a number of different markets. This was also very important for Katie who recently joined Deepki as their UK GM. It is very important that there is an appetite for the product and it fits the needs of the potential buyer and target audience. 

5) Government support and Investment

Jonathan Mills had some interesting thoughts around Government support available to companies launching in the UK. Post Brexit, the UK government have worked to make it easier for companies to launch their operations in the UK and the effect of Brexit so far has been ‘largely negligible’. Investment in Proptech and the UK in particular has seen a huge amount of growth in the last 5 years. Miguel highlights the availability of seed funding and the governments EIS scheme to help out companies get off the ground before they look for their Series round of funding as being an important next step.

Overall...

The general sentiment was very positive towards launching a Proptech business in the UK. The English language and relationship with the US makes it the most obvious first port of call for North American companies as well as the plethora of top talent available in the market. London still remains the favoured choice however with Covid’s push towards a remote working environment, we are seeing a greater amount of flexibility from employers.

 

Brad Bartlett 

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