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A European PropTech View with Benedict Aicher, Flexcavo

14.3.22

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

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 will ask PropTech innovators 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 Benedict Aicher, Co-Founder & Managing Director Flexcavo.

Flexcavo revolutionizes the way construction machinery is used and shapes the future of the construction industry. We help contractors to make the best use of their construction fleet by leveraging state of the art software and technology. Our solutions help our customers to work smarter, increase productivity and reduce their total cost of ownership across the entire live cycle.

How did you find yourself working in the PropTech sector?

Having been born and raised in a construction and real estate family, I was always fascinated about the PropTech and ConTech sector. Initially, I started my career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. However, my fascination for construction never faded and my conviction about impact opportunities in the sector grew over the years. At a certain point, I decided to switch careers and pursue the vision of intelligent construction sites with my venture, Flexcavo.

 

What does your role entail at Flexcavo?

As one of the two Co-Founders of Flexcavo, I’m responsible for all topics regarding Strategy, Finance, People, and our Asset Operations.

 

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

The era of digitization has already set new standards for productivity in other asset-heavy industries such as manufacturing, wholesale & retail, and mining & utilities – construction has yet to follow. We believe in a data-driven approach towards intelligent construction with machinery as the ideal starting point for an orchestrated ecosystem. Existing and emerging players in the machinery ecosystem only partially cover the machinery lifecycle: sourcing, management, use, and secondary market. Flexcavo is positioned to serve construction firms along the entire lifecycle offering a one-stop solution for construction machines and adjacent services. By connecting project site operating data and fleet management data, we enable intelligence and process automation.

 

What are the challenges in PropTech for your company?

Two key challenges we see are trust and change management. Construction is a trust-based industry. We deeply integrate our offering into our customers’ processes between construction sites, the construction yard, and headquarters. This requires trust-based customer relations – our positioning as asset-enabled machine owner signals potential customers that we walk the talk too and significantly strengthens our positioning as leading solutions provider. Furthermore, we act as partners for change management and digitization for our customers. Many construction firms are changing the way they work – from pen & paper to digital tools. We are facilitating this change process by focused capability building & training.

 

How has the last year impacted your business?

The year 2021 was a crazy ride for Flexcavo:

  • we managed >1.000 construction projects and >15.000 machines on our FlexcavoOS SaaS fleet management solution
  • we opened our second asset fulfillment yard with >4.500 square meters in Munich to expand our machinery as a service business
  • we raised a Series Seed of EUR 6.4 million from Picus Capital, VR Ventures, Rivus Capital, FJ Labs and many well-known business angels raising
  • we onboarded many amazing new team members that are jointly with us working towards the mission of intelligent construction
  • bottom-line: despite the challenges of Corona, it was an amazing year and the whole team is excited for 2022

 

What does the next year hold for Flexcavo?

Without spoiling too much: we are about to launch exciting new software features, we are further expanding our fulfillment footprint with new yard locations and of course we are growing our team. Stay tuned and follow us on LinkedIn!

 

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

Three strategic themes will be important for this year: talent, digitization, and sustainability.

The PropTech and ConTech sector has a significant shortage of qualified talent. Companies will need to rethink their ways of work to address this challenge. Besides new work initiatives, one key driver will be optimizing internal processes to make use of existing capacities in the most efficient way.

Corona kicked-off a wave of digitization – even in the construction industry. Nowadays, video calls are part of the daily business in construction projects. However, companies need to leverage the momentum to digitize even further.

The PropTech and ConTech sector is one of the biggest CO2 contributors worldwide. The whole sector should start to review business models and define initiatives that generate positive impact and long-term sustainability.

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the PropTech industry?

Don’t pay attention to some of the stigmas that the PropTech and ConTech industry might have. It is one of the most significant industrial sectors as we’ll always need houses, roads, etc. As mentioned before, construction has yet to follow other asset-heavy industries with regards to digitization. This represents an immense opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

LMRE are specialist PropTech recruiters, if you need help growing your business or making any key hires please get in touch via the form below!

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