Proptech in Malaysia has been on the rise for the past couple of years, and this trend has accelerated in the past two amidst the pandemic. By leveraging various technologies, proptech startups were able to help the sector survive and sustain. Landlords and tenants limited by the government-mandated Movement Control Order were able to virtually view properties and make bookings online. PropertyGuru, Malaysia’s leading proptech startup claims that they had over 12 million visitors between January and March this year.
With property technology in Malaysia booming, we take a closer look at five emerging proptech startups in Malaysia.
Despite the strained real estate market in 2020-21, homegrown property rental platform SPEEDHOME (formerly Speedrent) managed to raise $1.6 million USD in Series A funding backed by Allianz Malaysia Berhad and Gobi Partners on the 13th of July 2021.
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This is not the startup’s first successful funding; SPEEDHOME raised $791 thousand USD through equity crowdfunding in 2019, making it the largest crowdfunded company in Malaysia that year. The startup is also one of the winners of Shanghai-based venture capital group Gobi Partners’ SuperSeed II Championship last year.
Founded in 2015, SPEEDHOME plans to channel its most recent funding towards a regional expansion to Bangkok as the capital of Thailand shares a similar rental market to Malaysia. Through innovative solutions, it has repeatedly demonstrated its adaptiveness and a keen eye for opportunities in the volatile real estate industry, which bodes well for prospects for the company and the proptech industry in Malaysia.
Juwai IQI hopes to create more than 1,000 jobs in Malaysia in positions ranging from mobile app developers to data scientists, thanks to the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation’s (MDEC) initiative to attract $17.3 billion USD in digitalisation investment and create 500,000 digital positions by 2025.
Juwai IQI’s goal to lead the digital transformation across ASEAN from Malaysia stems from the country’s potential to be the digital heart of ASEAN. According to co-founder Kashif Ansari, having teams in Malaysia and Shanghai would allow the company to embed in two of the deepest talent pools of technology in Asia.
Founded in 2019, Juwai IQI is a relatively young but formidable startup. Every year, it advertises $4 trillion USD worth of property from 111 countries. It has also sold and rented over 17,000 properties worth $1 billion USD in 2020. The proptech startup has nurtured 18,500 strong sales agents in regional offices spanning across five continents in a short year.
At its core, MHub digitises the manual processes to streamline the usually long and arduous property purchasing process. Its suite of ten apps provides quality connections between property stakeholders, helping developers and buyers alike save time and costs.
MHub hosted the first live balloting session for IJM Land’s Bandar Rimbayu Starling’s phase one units, concluding the days-long balloting process in a short one and a half hours by mediating as the neutral party. It estimates that it could shorten the whole property purchase process to one month from nine.
It works closely with multiple stakeholders like law firms, bankers, real estate agents, and local and global developers of varying sizes to achieve this result. To date, it has handled close to 700 projects with a total sale of 170 thousand units.
As an alumnus from MaGIC’s Global Accelerator Programme (GAP), this end-to-end property marketplace platform scaled its tech startup by successfully raising its target amount in 2019. They are also planning to run a second campaign on pitchIN to raise $710 thousand USD to improve MHub’s network of current apps, growing the team, and marketing efforts to raise awareness of their innovative solutions.
This B2B property marketplace connects real estate agencies and negotiators to nearly completed offerings from developers.
With new virtual features launched in June 2020, real estate agents and negotiators have managed to close about $10.6 million USD in gross development value during the MCO. Its inaugural Didian Preferred Partner program also gives certain perks to high performing agencies, like exclusive access to select developer properties and higher commissions. This program encourages more real estate agencies to join the platform and allows Didian to democratise the sale of properties to a broader audience.
Singapore-based PropertyGuru Ltd. has agreed to acquire iProperty to better serve aspiring homeowners and tenants in Malaysia. PropertyGuru’s intention to accelerate the development of the proptech industry in Malaysia prompted the move. Both leading proptech startups in their respective countries, this merger will create a more comprehensive set of data and actionable insights.
As one of the pioneers of proptech startups in Malaysia, iProperty has reported that several projects it manages have gained value despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy. A few examples include Residensi 22 in Mont Kiara (7.28% capital growth), Seringin Residences (5.7%), and Mutiara Condominium in Bukit Mertajam (5.49%).
The use of proptech in Malaysia has considerably softened the economic blow on the real estate industry. With the funding raised and services offered by these Malaysian startups, with the current proptech trends, the country seems on track to become the sector’s next hub in ASEAN.