Top ten start-ups picked for proptech programme

  • April 26, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson
Andrew Young (left) and Philip Kong, head of operations at PropXTech

Ten start-up companies have been selected from nearly 300 submissions from 42 countries and cities to join PropXTech, a corporate innovation programme jointly launched by Hong Kong-based Sino Group and Ping An Smart City.

The organisers and participants share the belief in driving the development of the property-technology (proptech) industry, innovate real estate in the region, and contribute to smart cities in all aspects from property development to management.

“The programme opened for applications in October 2020, and we were very encouraged by the overwhelming response from hundreds of entrepreneurs and start-ups from around the world,” said Andrew Young, associate director of Sino Group and PropXTech project leader. “Following a competitive interview and pitch process, ten start-ups demonstrating exceptional creativity and potential were selected to join the innovation programme. Selections were made based on the strengths of the companies’ clear business models; sales, engineering, scalability and operational capabilities; and their ability to address customer experience, efficient processing and financial impact.”

The finalists presented proptech products and services spanning physical, experiential and digital offerings. Innovations included:

  • Welbot – An adaptive robotics application for construction automation. By collecting on-site raw data, the system can provide big data and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm construction framework for complex environments in a short time. Additionally, the start-up, from Hong Kong, has created a cable robotic cleaner for buildings and windows, that uses environmentally friendly ionic pure water, and does not require a gondola, making the cleaning of high-rise buildings more cost effective, sustainable, and easier to install and operate.
  • Valpas – A smart living well-being offering that could make a dramatic impact on the quality of hotels and health of guests. Hailing from Finland, Valpas has designed smart bed legs that have a special coating and colour that together with the CO2 emitted by sleeping guests attract and trap newly arrived bed bugs in the bed legs. The product is patented, certified, eco-friendly, toxic-free and chemical-free.
  • Archilyse – The start-up from Switzerland has designed a cloud-based service, offering machine learning and AI to replace subjective assessment of architectural qualities. The outcome is a holistic product for analysis and automated evaluation with objective data to facilitate decision making, identify qualitative KPI and increase process efficiency significantly. In addition to data analytics, a digital modelling element can generate 3D BIM future-ready models from paper or PDF plans, which optimises and accelerates the process at the modelling stage of building development.
  • Vutility – An IoT device designed in the USA, Vutility is an energy monitoring system that makes sub-metering easier and provides real-time, high resolution, non-intrusive accessible, insightful and actionable data about energy consumption, to improve operational and energy efficiency.

“Sino Group is excited to foster and nurture these start-up companies through providing a platform that cultivates young innovative minds,” said David Ng, group associate director of Sino Group. “We hope our PropXTech innovation programme will enable innovators to enhance the way our communities are built, and look forward to working with more industry peers and start-ups to make a positive impact in the development of smart cities.”

The four-month programme kicked off in March 2021 and is now in the acceleration phase. While receiving mentorship from Sino Group and Ping An’s experts and veterans, the finalists are also gaining access to the group’s innovation ecosystem to develop pilot and proof-of-concept projects in Hong Kong and China’s Greater Bay Area, meeting with the group’s various business units and partners to explore potential business scenarios and achieve synergic collaborations, as well as testing and fine-tuning their products in a real-world environment.

“We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the PropXTech programme,” said Wei Hu, co-CEO of Ping An Smart City. “With the right support, these start-up companies have the capabilities to innovate and digitalise the real estate and smart city industries in the Greater Bay Area. Ping An Smart City looks forward to working with Sino Group and these companies to explore the next generation of cities together.”

The PropXTech corporate innovation programme is designed to foster and develop promising technology companies in the Greater Bay Area and to create innovations for the region’s growing real-estate industry. Later this year the finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their achievements and connect with investors and affiliate partners.

Sino Group is a Hong Kong property developer and its core business is developing residential, office, industrial and retail properties for sale and investment.

Ping An Smart City is a Chinese technology company that focuses on the construction of new smart cities. So far, it has launched more than 230 programmes, cooperating with more than 140 cities across China and six countries and regions along the Belt and Road.