PropTech Advisers Join Forces In Newly Funded Start Up

Well-known PropTech advisers James Dearsley and Eddie Holmes have formed a new start-up called Unissu after raising £150,000 of pre-seed funding.

Unissu is an online database of companies in the property technology market, which includes information on company size, location, the lifecycle stage of property the tech fits into, a description of the tech involved and the funding it has received.

According to Dearsley, the ecosystem is growing quickly but there is no single source to help the property industry understand what is actually happening.

“This has often left the industry struggling to grasp what is needed for their businesses and, even if they have made decisions on their PropTech strategies, they have made those decisions based on the part of the iceberg that they can see above the water,” Dearsley said. “Unissu changes this by revealing the vast quantity of information hidden beneath the water line.”

The website is free to access for property industry buyers. The plans for monetisation will come at a later stage once the product has proved its worth to the property community, Dearsley told PlaceTech.

A group of 30 property professionals was recruited to test Unissu, which according to LinkedIn now has five employees.

The platform is due to go live this autumn, but it has already acquired another business, Singapore-based Disrupt Property.

Disrupt Property, a listing portal of PropTech businesses, was started in January 2016 by Jack FitzGerald, a senior development manager at Lendlease. FitzGerald has become a shareholder and adviser to Unissu, specialising in the South East Asian region.

According to Property Forum, the acquisition of Disrupt gives Unissu a significant presence in South East Asia as it maps the global PropTech market.

“Having just closed a strategic pre-seed investment round from global investors, this is an important milestone in Unissu’s mission to create the single source of truth for all PropTech data, information and research,” said Holmes. “Jack has built an incredible dataset with Disrupt, a dataset that we are augmenting and making even more relevant to Unissu’s users.”

Dearsley founded The Digital Marketing Bureau, a digital agency focused on sectors such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robotics, while Holmes is chairman of the UK PropTech Association and founder of LAB Liverpool, a co-working space and business incubator.

DMZ thinks the database is a great idea. PropTech has become a huge buzzword in the industry but it’s often difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Firms like Nested have done incredibly well, with the start-up on track to make a £10 million turnover this year, just two years after being launched.

Tens of millions of pounds have been invested in consumer and business-to-business PropTech in the UK, and globally there could be 8,000 firms who fall into this category.

And it’s started to attract the attention of investors like Tej Lalvani, the BBC Dragon and Vitabiotics chief executive, who recently signed a major deal with Air Agents, the London Airbnb management company.

Dearsley and Holmes, who are making waves in the PropTech industry as partners at PropTech Consult, are well placed to bring some much-needed clarity to the sector.

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