Real-es­tate Tech Start-ups Dis­rupt­ing the In­dus­try

Real-es­tate rep­re­sents a ma­jor as­set class across the coun­try but has been a slow adopter of tech­nol­ogy. This is about to change with some en­thu­si­as­tic novel start-ups ready to dis­rupt the sec­tor. Sapna Srivastava briefs on some of the in­no­va­tor com­pa­nies

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Brigade Real Es­tate Ac­cel­er­a­tor Pro­gram (REAP) of­fice in Bengaluru is a self­con­tained work space that has the buzz of cre­ativ­ity and an air of in­no­va­tion as var­i­ous startup com­pa­nies work­ing in their re­spec­tive do­mains are also able to delve in knowl­edge shar­ing given the com­mon premises. The pro­gramme has also forged part­ner­ships with Cisco, In­tel and Mi­crosoft for tech­nol­ogy men­tor­ship and with JLL for Go-to-mar­ket and use cases. M.R Jais­hankar, Chair­man & Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Brigade Group, elab­o­rat­ing on the com­pany’s plans in this di­rec­tion, he said, “Our fo­cus is to men­tor high qual­ity tech fo­cused star­tups adding value to the real-es­tate in­dus­try at large. An­other ini­tia­tive of the Brigade Group is the all women project team for some of our projects. We also plan to start a skill devel­op­ment in­sti­tute for pro­vid­ing skill train­ing at all lev­els for the realty pro­fes­sion­als."

Brain­child of Nirupa Shankar, Di­rec­tor of Brigade Hos­pi­tal­ity ser­vices, the ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram aims at giv­ing young com­pa­nies ac­cess to do­main knowl­edge, ground re­al­i­ties and reach to the rel­e­vant real-es­tate cus­tomers. “Many com­pa­nies would come to us with in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions which used to be bright ideas but needed tweak­ing as per the realty in­dus­try. In or­der to help these com­pa­nies and make

them mar­ket ready, we launched REAP in 2016 to men­tor the care­fully se­lected com­pa­nies and be their pi­lot cus­tomer as well. Our goal is to help in­no­va­tors mar­ket their prod­ucts ef­fec­tively and cre­ate a sus­tain­able and scal­able busi­ness.” John Ku­ruvilla, the Chief Men­tor is steer­ing the ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gramme. He en­sures that in­no­va­tive ideas are not lost in trans­la­tion, but are able to find prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion as needed by the realty sec­tor. “The REAP’S four month pro­gram gives the start-ups a straight for­ward ap­proach as per their prod­uct and busi­ness po­ten­tial with an eye to the on-ground chal­lenges.” Here’s a look at few of REAP star­tups putting their ideas into ac­tion.


The re­sult of two years of re­searchby the com­pa­nyto pro­duce the world’s most eco­nom­i­cal ul­tra­sonic sen­sor, Ve­naqua, is de­signed for a mul­ti­ple in­let plumb­ing lay­out. It guar­an­tees greater than 99% ac­cu­racy & zero mov­ing parts en­sur­ing that it lasts for­ever. As Abi­lash Hari­dass, Co­Founder & CM Oadded, “Since our first pi­lot in AKDR / Bay View, Chen­nai in 2014, we have now im­ple­mented Ve­naqua in more than 2000 homes and saved more than 30 Mil­lion litres of wa­ter in first 2 years of ex­is­tence. Our next in­tro­duc­tion is Min­tix and Erika to help con­serve and re­duce elec­tric­ity and gas us­age WE­GOT is striv­ing to pro­vide an in­te­grated Util­ity Man­age­ment sys­tem with real time an­a­lyt­ics to con­serve es­sen­tial util­i­ties.”


This Patent Pend­ing sewage treat­ment tech­nol­ogy based on grav­ity and nat­u­ral pro­cesses works in­de­pen­dent from power sup­ply and daily sur­veil­lance. The eco­log­i­cal so­lu­tion can treat waste rang­ing from 1 Kilo litres per day to 1 Mil­lion litres per day.tharun Ku­mar­who drives the com­pany’s strate­gic vi­sion elab­o­rated, “The eco STP tech­nol­ogy does not use chem­i­cals or en­ergy to treat the wa­ter. In­stead, it uses a com­bi­na­tion of micro­organ­isms, plants and gravel to clean sewage wa­ter, com­plet­ing the ‘cra­dle to cra­dle’ sus­tain­able life­cy­cle. Since it is built un­der­ground, fur­ther con­struc­tion can be done above it. Also, as no air is re­quired in this method, there is no foul smell. Low op­er­a­tional and main­te­nance costs, and no elec­tric­ity re­quire­ment are some of the other ben­e­fits.”


The Com­pany’s IOT tech­nol­ogy prod­uct, Iqnext® con­verge build­ings, spa­ces and peo­ple, en­abling them to in­ter­act with one an­other seam­lessly. Us­ing its own cloud based soft­ware, their cus­tomers can ac­cess and mon­i­tor real-time us­age of en­ergy and space and vi­su­al­ize build­ing per­for­mance. Fur­ther, us­ing the data and an­a­lyt­ics plat­form, ac­tion­able in­sights are pro­vided to the cus­tomers to max­i­mize en­ergy sav­ings, op­ti­mize space us­age which helps re­duce costs and im­prove ef­fi­ciency. Vishal Jain, Founder & CEO said, “We are an Iot­startup de­sign­ing first of its kind pro­duc­tiv­ity sys­tems for com­mer­cial real-es­tate spa­ces. Our sen­sor- gate­way-soft­ware sys­tem en­sures em­ployee com­fort, en­ergy sav­ings, and hands off con­trols to help all things elec­tronic to 'talk' to each other, and thus func­tion seam­lessly, re­motely and eco­nom­i­cally.”


The ur­ban plant scap­ing com­pany has de­vel­oped the Natura Su­per Ab­sorbent Poly­mer Sub­strate (NSAP), a pro­pri­etary light­weight mod­u­lar me­dia slab, which is easy to use and re­quires 6 times less wa­ter than soil-based me­dia. Com­bin­ing nat­u­ral coir fi­bre with a pro­pri­etary ad­he­sive and com­pres­sion for­mula, Nat­ura­geo­mat and the Natura Coir Hard­board prod­uct’s cap­il­lary ac­tion en­sures no seep­age and damp­ness. These ma­te­ri­als are nat­u­ral in­su­lants and thereby help re­duce tem­per­a­tures by up to 6 de­grees Cel­sius. Tommy Mathew, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor briefed on the so­lu­tions, “Natura’s Green Roof needs re­duced depth and weighs much less than con­ven­tional sys­tems thereby re­duc­ing build­ing’s dead load and struc­tural costs. Natura’s Green Wall Sys­tem with 16 plants per sqft­pro­vides 4 times bet­ter plant mor­tal­ity than mar­ket.” In­dian real-es­tate sec­tor is at a cru­cial junc­ture of be­com­ing an or­ga­nized in­dus­try. The new tech­nol­ogy star­tups can change the way de­vel­op­ers con­struct, de­velop and main­tain their projects. For sure, the right di­rec­tion and guid­an­cein help­ing young com­pa­nies scale up will in re­turn en­able the sec­tor to be­come tech­savvy, driv­ing re­source and cost ef­fi­ciency.

For start-ups to qual­ify for REAP pro­gramme they must have tech­nol­ogy fo­cus in the ar­eas of In­ter­net of Things (IOT), Nan­otech­nol­ogy, Clean-tech and Re­new­ables, Vis­ual Com­put­ing and Lo­gis­tics & Sup­ply chain that can de­liver sig­nif­i­cant im­pact to the real- es­tate sec­tor. The com­pa­nies should have min­i­mum two promoters, seed in­vest­ment and a rev­enue stream.

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