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Can Technology Help the Real Estate World Reach Net-Zero? With Vincent Bryant and Grigor Hadjiev

5.9.22

In the first episode of Season 10 of the Propcast, host Louisa Dickins is joined by Vincent Bryant, Co-Founder and CEO of Deepki and Grigor Hadjiev, Head of Product and Development for West Europe at Allianz Real Estate.

Louisa and Vincent discuss the founding of Deepki in 2014 and how their SaaS solution data intelligence platform is helping to guide top real estate players in their net zero transition. Grigor is one of Deepki’s clients and in this episode you’ll hear how they’re utilising the SaaS solution to leverage the data from their ESG performance against their goals into the wider business environmental strategy.

Grigor also talks about the obstacles in getting businesses to adopt and transform through digitisation and how to overcome this.

Resources:

Companies Mentioned:

Shout Outs:

Key Insights From This Episode:  

  • I think it’s so important when you’re hiring and growing a business to have that clear mission and vision – especially for millennials and Gen Zs, that’s what they look for, because it’s so important to culture. – Louisa
  • We want to harness data so we can give our customers the resources they need to create and implement a comprehensive view of their ESG strategy and to help them to transition towards net zero. – Vincent
  • Practically speaking, our SaaS solution data intelligence platform helps all stakeholders make sure that everybody is aligned to reduce the CO2 impact of the assets. – Vincent
  • We need to work together to make sure that the solutions are viable and useful for us to reduce the environmental footprint, whilst being profitable for the PropTech companies. – Grigor
  • With multiple pressures coming from regulations, expectations from investors and expectations from the people, this is enough to accelerate and to move faster. – Grigor

About Our Guests:

Vincent Bryant:

Vincent Bryant, co-founder and CEO of Deepki. His passion for energy goes all the way back to his early professional days. Vincent began his career with an energy consulting firm, before spending eight years at ENGIE as Energy Efficiency Director. In 2014 he created Deepki with Emmanuel Blanchet, driven by their shared vision: using data to make real estate more sustainable.

Grigor Hadjiev:

Grigor Hadjiev is Allianz Real Estate’s Head of Product & Development for West Europe responsible for the design and execution of large capex programs and topics including ESG and ‘smart‘. He also leads the Innovation & Digitalization activities, bringing data asset management into the firm’s existing expertise. Prior to joining Allianz Real Estate in 2018, he was Director for French-speaking Switzerland at Drees & Sommer. He started his career as an architect and general planner before joining a strategy & finance advisory firm. An alumnus of ETH Zurich, HEC Paris and ENSAPLV, Grigor holds a master’s degree in Architecture and Management. In 2017, he became a qualified member of RICS.

About Deepki:

Founded in 2014, Deepki has developed a SaaS solution that uses data intelligence to guide real estate players in their net-zero transition. The solution leverages customer data to improve assets’ ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance and maximise asset value. Deepki operates in 39 countries, with 180 team members across offices in Paris, London, Berlin, Milan and Madrid. The company serves clients including AEW, Primonial REIM, Generali Real Estate, SwissLife Asset Managers and the French government, helping to make their real estate assets more sustainable at scale. In March 2022 Deepki raised €150 million in a Series C round of funding which was jointly led by Highland Europe and One Peak Partners. Other investors include Bpifrance, through their Large Venture fund, and Revaia.

About Allianz:

Allianz Real Estate is a PIMCO Company, comprising Allianz Real Estate GmbH and Allianz Real Estate of America and their subsidiaries and affiliates.  It is one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers, developing and executing tailored portfolio and investment strategies globally on behalf of a range of global liability driven investors, creating long-term value for clients through direct as well as indirect investments and real estate financing. The operational management of investments and assets is performed out of 17 offices in key gateway cities across 4 regions (West Europe, North & Central Europe, USA and Asia Pacific). For more information, please visit: www.allianz-realestate.com.

About Our Host

Louisa Dickins

Louisa is the co-founder of LMRE, which has rapidly become the market leading global PropTech recruitment platform and search consultancy with operations across North America, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

To promote the industry she is so passionate about, Louisa set up the Global podcast ‘The Propcast’where she hosts and invites guests from the built environment space to join her in conversation about innovation.

About LMRE

LMRE is globally recognised for leading the way in Real Estate Tech & Innovation talent management.

From the outset our vision was to become a global provider of the very best strategic talent to the most innovative organisations in PropTech, ConTech, Smart Buildings, ESG, Sustainability and Strategic Consulting.

At LMRE we are fully committed at all times to exceed the expectations of our candidates and clients by providing the very best advice and by unlocking exclusive opportunities across our global network in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

Timestamps:

[1:18] Vincent: Can you talk us through the founding of Deepki with your Co-Founder Emmanuel and elaborate on the product, the mission and its involvement in accelerating real estate’s environmental transition?

  • Our mission is to give our customers the resources to create and implement their ESG strategy and help them transition towards net zero. 
  • We provide a SaaS platform which collects existing data, so we can provide a comprehensive overview of performance of our customers portfolio, and therefore provide insights on their investment decisions, in order to reduce their impact on the environment and benefit from their energy savings.

[3:30] Grigor: When did you start looking at this product and how do you use it?

  • Allianz is committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, therefore, measuring the energy performance has been part of our strategy for many years. We started working with Deepki when we decided to put all of this data into one platform.
  • To understand the status quo of our buildings, build our own asset strategy and to build our decarbonisation action plan we need trusted, clean data, provided by Deepki.

[5:05] Grigor: Can you give us a brief introduction to your business and where you fit in?

  • Allianz Real Estate is a global player in the investment and asset management activities of real estate. 
  • We collect financial and environmental data and work on ways to make this data meaningful, transparent and trustful.

[6:37] Vincent: You have just secured a huge investment. What has this meant for the expansion of Deepki?

  • We are very proud to have welcomed top of the class investors that have extensive experience in international expansion and acquiring new companies. It is very important to have partners and customers who share the same objectives and values that you can trust.
  • We now want to expand our current footprint in Europe, open our offices in the US and double our workforce.

[9:10] Grigor: Why do you think other businesses aren’t so forthcoming to this innovation, what needs to be done?

  • In the real estate market we have a lot of tech products that are not answering a specific question or problem that we have. We need to work with the PropTech industry to ensure they are developing products that are meaningful and economically viable.

[10:38] Grigor: What is it going to take for real estate companies to start adopting more technology?

  • We need to maximise the portfolio value by reducing the environmental footprint and bring in more regulations to push this environmental attention.
  • We need to work with both the PropTechs and the end users in the buildings to ensure the solutions are viable and profitable. 

[12:17] Vincent: What are the key things that you’ve identified that have helped you in terms of uptake?

  • Everyone is now aware of the issues of climate change, the new issue is getting a comprehensive overview of it.
  • Collecting data and making it reliable so that you can understand the actual performance of your portfolio and implement the change effectively.

[14:34] Grigor: To move forward and drive towards this zero economy, do you think there are enough drivers to make it happen?

  • We should not forget that tenants are also part of the solution, they need to adapt their behaviour to make their buildings more energy efficient.
  • With multiple pressures coming from the regulations, expectations from the investors and expectations from the people, this is enough to accelerate forward.

[17:10] Vincent: Tell us about your recent acquisition?

  • Fabriq not only allows us to further consolidate our global leadership position, but to benefit from their expertise and excellent reposition in the market.
  • We are so happy to welcome a team that not only shares the same values and objects the same ability, but also the same vision, which is key.

[18:33]The ‘LMRE’ part, Louisa asks the guests to talk about; 

L – Touch on the main lessons you have learnt throughout your career.

Vincent: Execution is everything, not only to combat climate change but also to run a business, whatever the intent, everything is about making things happen. 

M – Please give a mention to anyone / product / service.

Grigor: I’d like to send a message to the entire digital ecosystem to move forward and make sure that we work together to make this happen.

Vincent: I discovered a French company called La Solive. They train people within the real estate industry so they can provide quality services with climate change in mind.

R – What has been the most  rewarding  aspect of working in PropTech?

Grigor: Being able to see changes quickly. 

E – What are you excited about in the future of PropTech?

Vincent: I think that technology and real estate can have a strong impact in the world, the real estate industry and especially the PropTech one has a huge opportunity to change the world positively.

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