CREDAI, Venture Catalysts join hands to form $100mn Proptech Fund
The Proptech Fund will invest in early to growth stage startups that have the potential to transform the real estate industry through technology, data analytics, blockchain, AI and augmented reality.
The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) and Venture Catalysts, India’s first and largest integrated incubator and accelerator for startups, have partnered to set up a $100 million PropTech fund to invest in startups bringing in innovative disruption in the real estate sector.
This fund will invest in early to growth stage startups that have the potential to transform the real estate industry through technology, data analytics, blockchain, AI and augmented reality. The fund would focus on startups catering to all the major segments of real-estate including residential, commercial, institutional (hotels, schools, hospitals) and industrial (warehouses, factories etc).
This platform, being launched in the 75th year of India’s Independence, will support the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Techade’ initiative of the government working towards digitalisation of the estimated USD 300 billion real estate sector in the country. Further innovations and technological advancements are expected to boost the sector in becoming a USD 1 trillion economy by 2030. The partnership comes amidst a transformative stage in the real estate industry experiencing a digital and technological evolution ushered in by innovative design, logistical advancements, and artificial intelligence-based tech.
“The real estate industry has been gradually stepping up to innovate for years and this is going to disrupt the industry even further. With the rapid development in the Prop Tech domain, the use of AR/VR or AI to help homebuyers expedite the process of closing deals will help provide developers with better liquidity as the processes gradually become more efficient, resulting in enhanced asset returns, decreased friction, and increased transparency. The large corpus will help deliver on the PM’s vision of ‘Make in India’ and help strengthen the promise of the startup community as India continues to emerge as one of the startup hubs globally,” explained Harsh Vardhan Patodia, President, CREDAI as he inaugurated the talent hunt for real-estate startups.
CREDAI will provide startups with access to its network base of 13,000+ members from 256 different industrial fields in real estate such as developers, vendors, channel partners, and promoters amongst others. It will support portfolio startups with the right mentorship and work towards making the real estate sector more digitalised.
“We are witnessing a revolution as we marked a 15,400 percent increase in the number of startups as it rose from 471 in 2016 to 72,993 by June 2022. While there has been a remarkable rise in the number of startups, it is integral to support the growth of these innovators to help drive the growth of the sector and even the nation. Also, with the advent of 5G, it is important to provide a platform for rising entrepreneurs to disrupt the industry and introduce innovative methods to overcome any challenges the industry currently faces,” said Boman Irani, President-Elect, CREDAI.
Talking about the need for a proptech fund, Anuj Golecha, Co-founder, Venture Catalysts said, “Real estate was one of the few sectors that witnessed adoption of technology even before the pandemic hit. However, post-Covid, this adoption has further increased to boost sales and experience both and hence there is a need for a dedicated fund that would help propel growth in the sector. We, at Venture Catalysts, have been early believers and backers of the sector with startups such as OYO and Innov8 and a dozen others working on solving problems right from finding a hotel to helping consumers with instant home loans. Through this fund, we expect to back some very interesting and innovative startups in the coming months. Besides, with recent unicorns such as Livspace and NoBroker, the proptech segment has received a massive sentiment from the VC community.” Venture Catalysts has been actively investing in the real estate industry with a portfolio of over a dozen startups such as OYO, Basic, Grexter, Sharenest, Home Capital and Rentomojo amongst others.
Anuj further added that proptech in India has so far been limited to residential marketplaces such as MagicBricks, NoBroker, 99Acres, Housing.com amongst others but technology is helping cater to all important aspects of real estate right from searching for a residential property to planning large industrial spaces.