Our partnership with leading industry players to provide proptech startups with investment and sector expertise to scale rapidly
We are pleased to announce our partnership with real estate professional services firm JLL, investor Starwood Capital Group, and flexible office provider Fora to launch Concrete, a new initiative to enable property tech companies to scale more effectively.
Lead by Seedcamp Expert in Residence, Taylor Wescoatt, the strategic alliance addresses one of the biggest challenges faced by proptech startups: accessing sufficient capital, expertise, and relationships to grow rapidly enough to serve large clients.
Concrete and its panel of expert advisors will provide these essential ingredients to a carefully-selected intake of early stage companies, giving their property tech innovations every chance of success with key insight and support.
Concrete has already made three investments and we have welcomed into our Seedcamp portfolio HubbleHQ, Opensensors.io, and Beagle.ai. Each brings transformative innovation to the real estate community and will be supported by expert representatives from diverse disciplines within the real estate sector to support their growth.
This does not mean our approach has changed. As Europe’s first seed fund, and with a portfolio of over 250 startups, our sector agnostic approach remains the same. However, we are constantly on the lookout for growing sectors and have made a number of high profile property tech investments, reflecting the growing trend in the market including the likes of Property Partner, eMoov, Trussle and Hubble.
Reshma Sohoni, Founding Partner of Seedcamp, commented: “Proptech is a space we see huge potential in at Seedcamp. We’ve already backed a number of companies in the sector and we’re seeing an ever increasing number of startups in this space coming to us for investment. We’re excited to partner with other great brands and respected names to create Concrete and build the ecosystem we know works best for startups.”
To lead the Concrete offering, Taylor Wescoatt, currently Expert in Residence for Seedcamp, has been appointed Director. Taylor Wescoatt, Director of Concrete and Expert in Residence at Seedcamp, added: “A flood of technology trends are shaking up the global real estate market which is worth $217 trillion. Startups are using new technologies such as VR, blockchain, and big data to enable solutions in what has been a very traditional marketplace for a very long time. Concrete is here to fund and scale these businesses, supporting them with the great support of Seedcamp, JLL, Starwood Capital Group and Fora Providing an extensive network, access to further funding and the knowledge to grow.”
Guy Grainger, EMEA CEO, JLL said, “Our alliance with Concrete enables JLL to be at the forefront of the next generation of real estate-related technologies. It also helps us to meet our strategic objectives of bringing tech-related benefits to our clients and leading the transformation of the real estate industry more broadly. We’re looking forward to getting started, lending our expertise and insights into what investors in, and occupiers and developers of, real estate need, and playing a part in helping the best ideas take root and grow.”
Zsolt Kohalmi, Head of European Acquisitions, at Starwood Capital Group, said: “At Starwood, we believe a partnership like this gives a critical insight into where technology is moving in real estate. We are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to create greater value in the space and we’re delighted to be able to work alongside JLL and Seedcamp to create the Concrete offering.”
Six selected early stage tech companies will apply immersive technologies to healthcare, manufacturing and creative industries.
Digital Catapult and Seedcamp have today announced the organisations selected to take part in Augmentor, focused on supporting early stage UK tech businesses developing applications for immersive technologies.
Gravity Sketch, Immersive Rehab, Kinicho, Koski, Reality Zero One and VRTU are the first group of organisations selected to be part of the ten-week programme supporting next generation virtual, augmented and mixed reality tech companies. Augmentor will provide a range of exclusive benefits; including technical and business mentorship from world-leading experts in the immersive space. Mentors on the programme include: Graham Breen, Product Head at Vive Europe, Peter Daukintis Tech Evangelist at Microsoft Hololens, Mikela Eskenazi Commercial Director EMEA at Blippar and Mel Slater, Professor at ICREA University of Barcelona and Immersive Fellow at Digital Catapult.
Over the course of ten weeks the selected companies will have full access to the state-of-the-art Immersive Lab and collaborative workspace at the Digital Catapult Centre London, as well the opportunity to collaborate with research experts in immersive technologies from University College London, University of Bath and Bournemouth University.
At the end of the ten-week programme of workshops, masterclasses, mentorship and access to facilities and research, the selected companies will take to the stage where they will pitch and showcase their innovations to an audience of experts and investors on 23rd May at Digital Catapult.
The early stage tech companies all have areas of focus spanning across digital manufacturing, digital health & care and the wider creative industries. The six selected businesses are:
• Gravity Sketch – An intuitive multi-platform 3D creation tool allowing users to create 3D models, scenes, and artwork in a fun and intuitive way • Immersive Rehab – An interactive physical and neuro-rehabilitation virtual environment enhancing the effectiveness of patient recovery • Kinicho – 3D audio tools for producers that seek a richer, fuller and more authentic listener experience • Koski – A mixed reality gaming platform, augmenting a physical board game with new worlds of play • Reality Zero One – A platform that makes it easy for users to replicate real things and stream them into virtual, augmented or mixed reality • VRTU – Creating virtual reality content specifically tailored to provide care givers and patients therapeutic resources to combat symptoms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Aurelien Simon, Head of Immersive, Digital Catapult, said: “We have reached a tipping point for immersive technologies, and it is vital that the UK stays at the cutting edge of innovations. The six companies represent a brilliant range of capabilities in the virtual, augmented and mixed realities space. We are looking forward to working with them all to help progress their ideas in the areas of digital manufacturing, healthcare and the wider creative industries.”
Dave Haynes, from Seedcamp’s investment team, said: “Over 70 AR/VR startups expressed interest in Augmentor and it’s great to see such a strong pipeline of UK talent in the sector. The six companies selected are out to solve a diverse set of real world problems; from healthcare and industrial design to audio tools and retail. We can’t wait to see them develop and work closely with them throughout the course of Augmentor.”
Augmentor Partners are: HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, University College London, CAMERA at University of Bath, Bournemouth University, Realities Centre and Immerse UK. To find out more about the programme, please visit: www.augmentor.co.uk.
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