PropTech Summit 2019: Uncovering the Latest in Real Estate Tech

Last week Sapphire Ventures and NFX joined forces to co-host our 2nd annual PropTechCEO Summit.  It was a pleasure, as always, to team up with Pete Flint and host this special invite-only gathering of more than 175 entrepreneurs and investors.  It was great to see so many familiar faces, and welcome many new ones, into the expanding PropTech community.  

We had an amazing lineup of speakers again this year including:

  • Eric Wu, CEO/Co-Founder of OpenDoor;
    David Chiu, California, Assembly member

    David Chiu, California assembly member in a conversation with Paul Levine about affordable housing

  • Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman & Associates; 
  • David Chiu, California State Assembly member;
  • Adena Hefetz, CEO/co-founder of Divvy Homes
  • Court Cunningham, CEO of Perch

A lot has changed in a year.  The on-stage conversation focused on reading the macroeconomic tea leaves, discussing the impact and implications of WeWork’s failed IPO on the flex office market, and the growing recognition of the impact of income disparity and the need for affordable housing.  Rather than summarizing our great speakers, we’ll be posting the full-length session videos so you can see the content for yourself. 

Clelia Peters moderates a discussion with Nick LiVigne (left) and Ari Kantrowitz (middle) on the future of flex work.

 

Attendees at PropTech CEO Summit

Attendees highly engaged in this year's small group discussions over lunch.

It was great to wrap up the day with a wide-ranging discussion with Pete and Clelia Peters on what we see as the emerging trends for proptech in the coming year.

And the Survey Says?

Continuing a tradition we started last year, we conducted a pre-event survey to capture our attendees’ perspective and provide additional fodder for the day’s conversation.  The complete results of the survey can be found here but a few data points I think are most interesting:

  • 47% of respondents felt that there would be significantly more venture capital going into PropTech this year, and only 19% expect less.  (Gotta love the optimistic inclination of founders/CEOs).

Graph of proptech capital expectations

  • The landscape of Private companies attendees would most like to own have shifted significantly.  In 2018, the top three companies people wanted to own were OpenDoor, WeWork and Compass. This year, we expanded the list of nominated companies, and people said they most wanted to own AirBNB, OpenDoor, Blend Labs, and VTS.  More telling is that WeWork and Compass fell to the bottom of the list of private companies people want to own.

 

  • Finally, I think in an indication of how strong and diverse the innovation in the PropTech space is right now, the number of startups that attendees identified as “amazing, under-the-radar” companies to watch grew by almost 40% from last year.  

Innovative proptech startups

In all, it was a fantastic day spent with the best and brightest in PropTech.  We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation when we publish the videos, and we’ve already started planning for next year’s Summit!

Pete Flint, Paul Levine

Disclaimer:  Nothing presented within this article is intended to constitute investment advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures. Information provided reflects Sapphire Ventures’ views as of a time, whereby such views are subject to change at any point and Sapphire Ventures shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change. Companies mentioned in this article may include portfolio companies in which Sapphire Ventures has invested in which the author believes such companies fit the objective criteria stated in commentary, which do not reflect all investments made by Sapphire. A complete alphabetical list of Sapphire’s investments made by its direct growth and sport investing funds is available here. No assumptions should be made that investments listed above were or will be profitable. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events, results or the actual experience may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in these statements. Nothing contained in this article may be relied upon as a guarantee or assurance as to the future success of any particular company. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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