UK Government backs trio of PropTech start-ups

Three “disruptors” selected to join Ordnance Survey and Land Registry-backed Geovation initiative, including an AI driven property management venture and a super-advanced due diligence tool for conveyancers

The Government has selected three PropTech start-ups to join its new incubation programme, Geovation.

The Ordnance Survey and Land Registry-backed initiative is part of a bid to “propel the UK towards becoming a global leader in the land and property market”, with funding and support available for the most promising of new ventures.

Three GeoTech start-ups are already on board, but the first “disruptors” have just been added from the PropTech world. Here’s a brief lowdown on each:

  • GetRentr tracks UK local authority licensing schemes for rental properties, identifying properties that meet regulated safety standards. Landlords and agents can audit entire portfolios broken down by postcode in seconds and review the daily status changes of individual properties.
  • Orbital Witness uses satellite imagery, property ownership data and cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI) to conduct due diligence on properties to assist conveyancers, by highlighting areas of risk early.
  • AskPorter is an AI machine learning messaging platform that optimises property and facilities management by reducing administration and management costs while improving customer satisfaction. The platform uses an intuitive conversational interface that enables a chatbot to answer common questions.

And here’s the GeoTech businesses they’ll be joining:

  • FlowX offers a low-cost solution to traffic congestion, and the pollution this causes, by providing object classification algorithms to exciting sensory data. This is achieved by integrating data from existing infrastructure sensors and then applying machine learning to give the ability to react to congestion before it even happens.
  • Safe & the City aims to build a safer community one step at a time by creating a GPS app that uses evidence informed data and crowdsourced geotagged information to paint a picture of safe routes and what streets to walk down.
  • Explaain reinvents the online article. Most journalists put the most noteworthy information first and leave context and background for later. Explaain allows journalists to include more of the research that doesn’t usually make it into a final article. They recently used their technology to run – a voting preference app that had more than 2 million completed surveys in the run-up to this year’s general election. They will be developing location-aware alerts and reminders, and geospatial context for cards.

The first six months of the programme will see each firm work up their ideas to prototype stage, spending at least 20 hours per week on the projects and with £10k of funding available. Those then passing a commercial viability test will get another £10k tranche to help create and actually launch their products.

Business Minister Lord Prior: “Building more affordable homes is central to the Government’s commitment to creating an economy that works for everyone and the partnership between HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey is a new and exciting chapter of this.”

John Abbott, Director of Digital, Data and Technology at HM Land Registry: “With our support these start-ups have the opportunity to revolutionise the technology that underpins the property sector and create data-driven services that will make property related transactions simpler, faster and cheaper for everyone.”

Alex Wrottesley, Head of Geovation: “We’re very excited to be working with these businesses. The programme offers an exceptional launchpad for any new business in the PropTech or GeoTech markets and we’re looking forward to giving this new group our full support.”