Botswana’s Sethebe Manake to speak at Africa Proptech Forum 

Taking place at WeWork’s first African office location, The Link, Johannesburg on the 1st of October 2019, the Africa Proptech Forum is hosted in collaboration with Proptech Africa and the continent’s leading real estate gathering, the 10th annual Africa Property Investment (API) Summit.

Attracting significant attention from private and institutional investors; funding for Proptech has grown significantly from $20 million in 2008 to an average of $12BN annually since 2016 with the number startups and seed funding rising each year, comments the co-founders of Proptech Africa, Sean Godoy and noted African real estate advisor, Kevin Teevoorengadum.

This year’s Africa Proptech Forum will provide select Startups with an opportunity to pitch their disruptive business models to Africa’s most high-profile real estate investors and developers. The opportunity to ‘pitch’ to a high profile and diverse gathering of capital players is fundamental to the growth of this emerging sector, says Godoy, especially as more and more venture capital funds look to Africa’s growing markets for the next big Unicorn. 

“There is more capital available, and this year we will have a number of investors attending and two of our keynote speakers include Clive Butkow of Kalon Partners and Ashwin Ravichandran, the Managing Director of African tech incubator MEST.”

With both having recently closing significant seed funds transactions with Kalon investing $660,000 in Flow, a South African Proptech Firm, and MEST confirming the African 11 startups that will receive $100,000.000 in funding by what is one of Africa’s influential tech incubators.

What is Proptech? 

Defined as the use of information technology (IT) to help individuals and companies research, buy, sell and manage real estate, Proptech is still emerging in Africa says Godoy. But with 6,000 Proptech firms registered globally according to event partner, Unnisu, this new frontier will play a key role across every aspect of real estate on the continent. 

Data & its role in attracting investment 

“A number of startups especially in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, SA, and Botswana are pioneering the use of digital technology to leapfrog ahead and overcome traditional market challenges, such as land titles, mortgages, leasing, tenants, while also providing greater improved data and transparency for investors seeking to invest in new markets and assets,” says Godoy. 

The improvement in data collection for the API Summit’s Kfir Rusin is important as “it mitigates one of the continent’s historical pain points, while also showcasing the scale of opportunity and value for investors considering investing in Proptech.”

Taking place on 1 October, at WeWork’s first of predicted future African office locations, the Proptech Forum is the perfect addition to Africa’s real estate most significant annual gathering of property stakeholders from 32 countries and 285 companies. 

Pitching and Networking 

“Proptech is growing exponentially. We’ve created a unique platform where African focused startups can pitch and meet with our investors, all of whom have access to deeper pools of capital,” comments Rusin.  

Adding that, “Proptech in Africa represents a significant billion-dollar opportunity and to host at WeWork, one of the World’s most transformative and high-profile startups is an example of the opportunity that Proptech Startups have on the continent.” 

Featuring presentations by acknowledged industry thought leaders from across Africa’s most technologically savvy markets, including MEST’s Ashwin Ravichandran; Estate Intel’s Dolapo Omidire of Nigeria; Sethebe Manake of Botswana, Prof Francois Viruly of the University of Cape Town; Kevin Teevoorengadum, Clive Butkow of Kalon Partners and more. According to Godoy, these speakers will detail how Proptech will disrupt the entire property ecosystem, the “world’s most valuable, but conservative asset class.”

The rampant proliferation of Proptech, and subsequent investment, is due to the inherent ‘vertical’ integration opportunity between real estate and technology across the entire value chain says Godoy.  As Butkow, one of Africa’s most seasoned VC’s, perspective is that Proptech Startups have to “disrupt the current legacy property sector, being leases or buying and positively impact the customer experience”, and simply automating current or liquidated industry practice.