Real estate technology accelerator MetaProp NYC has published the results of a survey it conducted titled Global Real Estate Tech Confidence Index. According to the Manhattan-based firm, the index is a barometer of the health of the real estate technology market from the perspective of the most active real estate technology investors and startup founders around the world.
MetaProp NYC polled real estate tech investors and founders globally on their expectations for future market conditions as well as company growth. According to co-founder and managing director Aaron Block, despite recent media reports of the death of technology unicorns, the survey’s results are surprisingly positive. “We found that 90% of investors intend to make either the same amount of investments as last year or more in 2016. Founders and investors expect that the real estate tech market will grow more competitive during 2016, with more startups chasing a larger pool of venture capital funding.”
The survey found that investors are significantly more confident about the real estate tech market (9.1 on a scale of 1-10) than entrepreneurs (5.4 on a scale of 1-10). Investor sentiment is driven by confidence in expected deal flow and expectation of more M&A activity, while founders are skeptical of funding availability and exit opportunities.
No new entrant has stepped up to that level since VTS and Hightower hit the scene.
About half of investors expect to see more M&A activity in 2016 compared to 2015, while startups are generally pessimistic, with 44% reporting it is unlikely or very unlikely their company will be acquired, go public, or have a major liquidity event in the next two years.
One anonymous survey participant said there is a gap between the current offerings of startups and the needs of real estate companies, both in terms of functionality and scalability. “I expect to see an uptick in the number of RE tech entrants, but I still don’t expect to see much improvement in the number of companies that truly thrive and grow… No new entrant has stepped up to that level since VTS and Hightower hit the scene,” the source stated.
Customer growth expectations are moderate with most startups expecting to bring in 2-3x 2015 revenue in 2016, with about 18% not expecting to bring in any revenue this year. Despite this, startups have aggressive hiring plans for 2016, with 39% of companies planning to hire 6-20 employees in 2016, and 12% of companies planning to hire up to 50 employees.
The full results of the survey, designed in collaboration with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), can be found here: http://www.metaprop.org/confidence-index.