An innovative PropTech specialist backed by a leading Scots entrepreneur has been handed a fresh £150,000 boost from Scottish EDGE and IBM.
Edinburgh University spin-out Property Technology Ltd was singled out for praise and £50,000 funding by the Scottish EDGE fund after noting the high-growth potential of its Apply.Property software.
IBM also awarded the company £97,000 Bluemix software-as-a-Service infrastructure credits, equipping it with go-to-market support, business mentorship, services, discounts, technical guidance and networking opportunities.
Edinburgh-based entrepreneur Shaf Rasul, of commercial property specialists SRA Ventures, has worked closely with Property Technology Ltd from its inception, providing mentoring support and early stage fundraising advice.
He believes that Apply.Property – the brainchild of Edinburgh University alumni Sam Zawadzki and Bilal Khan – is revolutionising how estate agents respond to viewing enquiries, enabling consumers to book property viewings 24/7 and make offers online.
Mr Rasul, star of the BBC’s online Dragon’s Den and founder of E-Net Computers, said: “I believe there is vast potential for a fresh version of Apply.Property that would shake up the commercial property space with all of the huge benefits which that entails, and the support of Scottish EDGE and IBM can only help in realising that ambition.
“I’m proud and excited to be continuing in my mentoring role with Property Tech Ltd, while providing early stage fundraising advice that has helped it to build traction and momentum at a crucial point in its development.
“As a truly home-grown innovation, we feel that the sky really is the limit for Apply.Property’s cutting edge capabilities.”
The tool enables high street agents to compete with established online agents such as Purple Bricks. It markedly reduces administrative burdens and harnesses faster transactions for agents, allowing them to convert enquiries to offers even when their offices are closed, while providing them with a significant competitive edge.
Apply.Property – valued at £3.5million and currently being used by clients including Rettie & Co and Rent Locally – heightens efficiency by providing instant responses to all portal enquiries, emails, and out-of-hours calls, automatically indicating the agent’s viewing ability.
The software even provides a platform for buyers to make an offer while in the property.
Mr Zawadzki said: “We are delighted to have secured further significant support for Property Technology Ltd that will help us to enhance its capabilities and add extra features which agents have requested.
“Technology can really serve to liberate estate agents, removing time-consuming admin like responding to viewing enquiries, or organising paper offer forms. Apply.Property quite simply empowers agents, freeing them up, and giving them more time for important client-facing work.”
Marketing Leader for IBM Scotland, Brian Kennie, said that, thanks to its support, Property Technology Ltd would now “be able to scale up their solution in the market far faster using the industry-leading Bluemix cloud platform”.
General Manager of Skyscanner America, Shane Corstorphine added: “Sam’s core belief in building a high-performing technology team to solve genuine client engagement challenges in the property sector in a long term sustainable way really resonated. It’s the reason why I’m excited about seeing what him and the team can achieve in the years ahead.”
The fresh backing adds to the £150,000 seed stage funding that Property Tech Ltd has already banked from three high-profile Angel investors, allowing it to further develop its relationship management (CRM) tool for estate agents.