Proptech companies make navigating the property scene easier, cheaper and more transparent. They have simplified the buying, selling, leasing and renting process, including the legal side, either by eliminating real estate agent go-betweens who aren’t best serving their clients’ needs, or connecting them with better, tech-savvy, brokers. Recent data from JLL, a global real estate company, has thrown new light on proptech in Southeast Asia—and it’s good news. Since JLL conducted its extensive report, evaluating the scene from 2013-2017 in the Asia Pacific region, Southeast Asia has proved itself to be a prime location with its growing proptech ecosystem.
According to the latest data, in 2019, Southeast Asian proptech startups raised $72.9 million USD, out of Asia Pacific’s total of $625.9 million USD disclosed funding. Not enough to top 2018’s regional high of $163.9 million USD, but enough to confirm that proptech is taking off in the region. This is also apparent in the number of deals brokered in 2019 across Asian Pacific countries. From a total of 38, 11 were in Southeast Asia, placing it second to China and well ahead of India, who were previously the major competitor behind China.
With this new data in mind, here is an updated list of some of Southeast Asia’s proptech startups to watch, who have benefited from a slice of the recent funding pie.
Five key proptech players
With its globally established startup scene and smart city ambitions, it’s hardly surprising that one of the region’s most successful proptech startups is in Singapore. Ohmyhome, established in 2016, has since spread from The Lion City to Malaysia and is set to expand its services to a third, yet to be disclosed, location. The $4 million SGD they raised in series A funding from Golden Equator Capital, the venture capital branch of the holding group Golden Equator, partially enabled this initial expansion.
Ohmyhome prides itself on its D-I-Y approach, speeding up and simplifying all aspects of the house hunting, and selling, or letting process. Its range of services is extensive, and as well as connecting potential buyers or renters with sellers or landlords, it includes mortgage advice, legal conveyancing and even home decoration!
Rever is a streamlined tech-forward property brokerage portal, innovating the Vietnamese property scene since 2016. It has an online and off-line setup, where you can search or list a property online, while also connecting with a Rever expert to visit and evaluate properties with you in person. Rever has also launched an academy to train up the next generation of tech-savvy real estate agents.
2019 was an excellent year for them, where two rounds of funding saw them secure $4 million USD from VinaCapital Ventures in June, followed by $2.3 million USD later in the year from a joint venture between Golden Equator and Korea Investment Partners.
Founded in 2014 Propzy, is another highly regarded Vietnamese proptech company that can take care of buyer and seller needs, as well as conducting a Know Your Credit (KYC) service supporting the buying process.
It has experienced CEO John Le at its helm, who made his name by successfully founding and selling tech companies in the US. Its stellar credentials are reflected in its funding successes, securing $6 million USD last year, and is reportedly seeking $25 million USD in series B funding.
Thailand’s residential proptech needs are being taken care of by data-driven Baania. Not only does it connect prospective buyers and sellers, or renters, but it also accrues data, enabling it to develop its free property valuation tool Bestimate.
Baania seems set to develop further both its tech and data offerings, as well as its reach across Thailand’s provinces, following on from a series B funding round last year where it secured ฿100 million THB.
One of the greatest challenges to purchasing property is sourcing enough funds, and this certainly seems to be the case in Indonesia, where there is a lack of affordable housing. Gradana is taking care of this by financially supporting Indonesians with their mortgage down payments, by bridging both proptech and fintech. They provide a robust and secure peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform for those looking to take care of their property-related financial needs. They currently offer four financial services, from property purchasing finance to bridging loans for renters, renovation finance, and invoice financing for those who work in property.
Gradana had a successful round of seed funding last year, of an undisclosed amount, but the future looks bright for them as they were also named winners of the 2019 Asia Entrepreneurship Training Program (AETP).
If the latest figures are anything to go by, proptech in Southeast Asia looks to be on the rise, making the entire real estate process easier, more efficient, and above all most cost-effective.