Changing The Way We Live, 6 PropTechs at a Time

It’s with great pleasure that Pi Labs can officially announce the launch of our seventh pre-seed growth programme, welcoming six new proptech companies into our family. We’ve been managing these programmes since we launched in 2015 and it is always exciting to welcome the new teams.

Our team at Pi Labs spent months reviewing just under 400 applications and we enjoyed hearing some ground-breaking ideas from teams all over the world. When deciding who to bring in to this cohort, we considered a wide range of factors including the founders themselves, unique value propositions and early traction. We have backed innovations in areas which we feel particularly passionate about – democratising property ownership, well-being in the built environment and automation.

I’m happy that this is our most diverse cohort yet with founders from 8 different countries, spanning 5 continents. At Pi Labs we’ve looked to expand our support to other emerging proptech hubs around the world and this cohort is a reflection of that global focus. I’m also pleased to report that 33% of the cohort have female founders. At Pi Labs, we are strong believers that diversity fuels innovation so we’re eager to see the outputs of a group with a wealth of experience and a variety of perspectives.

We are ready to start working with the new founders on achieving the ambitious goals they have set for themselves. We also look forward to sharing both the successes and challenges of the companies and building strong relationships with each of the fantastic individuals in the group.

But enough about us, I give you the stars of the show, Pi Labs Cohort 7:

  • CRIBZ helps real estate developers automate and optimise their sales process. The platform sends the right message, to the right buyer, at the right time by using artificial intelligence and conversational design to guide buyers through each step of the process.
  • Decology is a personalised home design platform centred around a 3D digital twin of a client’s home. The platform provides consumers with the tools and expertise to visually design their homes and enables retailers to market and showcase their products in situ.
  • GroupLadder empowers friends to buy homes together. GroupLadder not only provides the mortgages needed, but also takes care of the complexity of transacting and owning as a group.
    Pop & Rest offers people in large cities peaceful and private spaces that allow them to disconnect from busy places, such as airports, train stations and workplaces.
  • Pop & Rest offers people in large cities peaceful and private spaces that allow them to disconnect from busy places, such as airports, train stations and workplaces.
  • RenterBuyer helps renters become homeowners without a large mortgage deposit or traditional credit scoring. A unique rent-to-buy solution allows buyers to purchase an affordable fraction of their home upfront; pay rent on the portion not yet owned, whilst purchasing more equity monthly (part-buy, part-rent) until they own outright.
  • TRACK is the dashboard for homeowners – managing property finances simply, beautifully and in one place. The platform gathers the value of your home and mortgage balance, takes into account other stakeholders, then displays all the info on a personalised dashboard.

As part of our work with the 6 companies, we have an array of mentors and speakers ready to roll up their sleeves and work with them to accelerate their growth. If you would also like to support any of the teams, please reach out to me directly and I will happily facilitate.

The programme will run for 15 weeks until Friday 24th May, when the cohort will present their businesses to an audience of investors, founders, alumni, and journalists.

I wish each of the new cohort members the very best of luck over the next four months. Make us proud!

By Raya Yunakova, Programme Director, Pi Labs

Mapping the future of logistics

This week, Pi Labs is proud to release its first white paper of 2018. We chose to focus our research on the logistics industry, setting out to examine its role in defining the property and real estate of tomorrow. You can download a free PDF copy of the white paper in full here:

Pi Labs – Future of Logistics Document

From transporting iron across Wales on the world’s first cargo trains in the 1800s to the global operations of Amazon’s automated warehouses, the logistics industry has continually been shaped and reshaped by new technologies throughout its life. Today, it’s an interesting area for household-name tech companies and ambitious new faces alike to battle it out for a piece of the innovation pie.

When we decided to deep-dive into logistics to enhance our understanding, we knew that there were a lot of organisations already gathering useful data and conducting important research. But we were surprised to discover little in the way of insight and analysis focused on knowledge-sharing between different industry sectors, plus only a small body of work speaking to people involved on the ground.

In this white paper, we hope to help fill that gap and to contribute ideas that will offer value for logistics and real estate professionals alike, as well as for investors, entrepreneurs and technologists more widely. Recognising the connections between industries and the opportunities those connections represent will enable companies to excel faster, learn from one another, and solve problems more effectively.

We’d like to thank the teams at Flexe and Glue Home for their contributions to this piece of research, as well as to McKinsey & Company, PwC, EY, and UPS, whose reports and data sets were crucial in bringing this white paper to life. We look forward to collaborating with tastemakers and disrupters to offer insights into other industries and subject areas later in the year.


Sign up for the Pi Labs newsletter to be notified when our next white paper is released. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Pi Labs Cohort 5 

We are excited to kick off the fifth programme of the Pi Labs Accelerator! Four new companies joined us on Monday 10 July for an intense 13 weeks of hard work that will help them scale their businesses and achieve their goals.

You can read more about the companies below. If you wish to get in touch with any of them or you feel your skills and experience can contribute to their success in the form of mentorship, give us a shout at and we’ll happily connect you.

Grab a Gardener – the online marketplace connecting you to the best local gardeners is the UK’s leading platform for customers to book and pay securely online for a trusted and experienced, vetted gardener. Customers can choose a date and time that suits them and pay a flat hourly rate for all garden maintenance services. After a successful launch in Berkshire in April 2016 Grab a Gardener quickly expanded across the South of England and now offer all garden services from technical garden design to landscaping projects.

ShareDining – removes barriers to entry for food businesses by helping them access flexible, affordable commercial kitchen space

One of the biggest problems facing the 50,000 new food businesses each year is access to commercial kitchen space. ShareDining helps solve this problem by giving food businesses access to unused kitchen capacity in venues such as restaurants, bars, cafes and schools. User businesses get access to flexible, affordable, on-demand commercial kitchen space and host businesses access an additional revenue stream.

Unified Technologies – the on-demand mobile Guest Experience Management (GEM) platform for the entire hotel operation.

Unified is a mobile first Guest Experience Management (GEM) platform for the entire hotel operation. The Unified turnkey solution provides guests with personalised on-demand service that can be accessed anytime, anyplace across a hotel. Unified ensures the nearest available staff member will fulfil the request so a guest is never kept waiting.

Unified provides real-time visibility of employees and connects guest requests to staff across the entire property. A robust analytics suite visualises service performance metrics and guest-centric insights at a granular level, providing hotel management with a Unified view of guest and staff interactions across the property(s).

UnitPal – the complexity of property and revenue management made easy

UnitPal works for you, whether you have a few or more rooms, never used a property management system before or tried them all. No installations needed, no manuals to read. Create your beds, rooms, prices and packages, and you’re all set to make reservations, send confirmations, check-in guests and issue invoices.
UnitPal systematises and organises all transactional and operational activity, and provides management a detailed overview of the property at any time, from anywhere. UnitPal tracks and displays past, present and future data of your hotel, needed to ensure selling the right product to the right customer, at the right time to the right price.


Pi Labs forms strategic partnership with CBRE

Europe’s first proptech-focused venture capital investor, Pi (Property Innovation) Labs, has formed a strategic business relationship with CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services company.

The business relationship focuses on the mutual exchange of property industry expertise and insights into the emerging trends and developments in the rapidly growing proptech sector. Both parties will work closely together on mentorship opportunities with start-ups within Pi Lab’s renowned proptech accelerator programme, starting with the next cohort to join in January 2017.

Pi Labs was launched in October 2014 and has since gone on to support 16 successful proptech start-ups, in areas including planning, social housing and office management. A three-month bi-annual programme provides funding, mentoring and office space for a select cohort of new start-ups.

In addition to providing an accelerator programme, Pi Labs now represents Europe’s only venture capital platform providing investment exclusively in proptech companies that are at seed to Series A stage and are looking to take the next step in their evolution.

Ciaran Bird, Managing Director of CBRE in UK said: “Our relationship with Pi Labs allows us to be at the forefront of proptech, and helps us to identify emerging technologies for the benefit of our clients and the property sector as a whole. Pi Labs has evolved rapidly since its inception and can now provide us with a unique view of the trends and new proptech innovations for all aspects of the real estate sector.”

Dominic Wilson, Managing Partner of Pi Labs, said: “Our strategic relationship with CBRE in the UK will allow a fantastic cross-fertilisation of property sector insights and the very latest trends and innovations in proptech. We are delighted to welcome CBRE to our stable of top tier supporters.”

In April this year, the Pi Labs Accelerator announced a new joint venture partnership with pioneering property start-up The Collective, where the latest accelerator programme is also housed at No. 14, Bedford Square, London. Pi Labs recently announced a strategic funding partnership with Bosa Ventures, the VC arm of Bosa Properties – the largest luxury residential developer in Canada, so that start-ups coming through its accelerator programme will now have access to £100,000 in funding.

Pi Labs enters into a strategic funding partnership with Bosa Ventures

Pi Labs partners with major Canadian luxury real estate development company to facilitate North American expansion for its portfolio companies

Property Innovation Labs (Pi Labs), Europe’s first proptech-focused VC, has entered into a strategic funding partnership for its accelerator programme with Bosa Ventures, the investment arm of one of Canada’s most respected property firms – Bosa Properties, to further its reach globally and create many more opportunities for its cohorts in North America and beyond.

Pi Labs was launched in October 2014 and has since gone on to support 16 successful property technology start-ups, in areas from planning, to social housing and office management. The three-month bi-annual programme provides funding, mentoring and inspiring office space for the most exciting new wave of ‘proptech’ start-ups. In April, the Pi Labs Accelerator announced a new joint venture partnership with pioneering property start-up The Collective, where the latest accelerator programme is also housed at No 14, Bedford Square, London. Last week, five teams comprising the most recent cohort of Pi Labs presented to a room of over 150 investors, seeking seed investment from £500,000 to £1,000,000.

PiLabs_180516 354

Bosa Properties is one of largest luxury real estate development companies in North America with a presence in both Canada and the US. Bosa owns, is actively developing, or has transacted in excess of $5B CDN of property assets. Pi Labs will have a strategic partnership with their VC arm, Bosa Ventures, which will provide additional funding via a SAFE or convertible note for Pi Labs companies to extend their runway or close out an existing funding round as they exit the programme. Perhaps more importantly, the cohorts will now have a gateway to North America to both test their products as well as have a partner for North American expansion.

This means cohort companies have access to £100,000 of funding through the accelerator programme before they potentially raise their seed round. All cohort companies will be eligible, though it will be at Pi Labs’ discretion and recommendation to determine which companies should receive the funds. Following on from success stories such as Switchee, Airsorted and Propoly in previous programmes, the teams in Programme 4, which starts in October, will be the first cohort to benefit from Bosa’s involvement..

Colin Bosa, Chairman of Bosa Properties commented on the new partnership that “Our alignment with Pi Labs will allow us both to be on the forefront of new frontiers of proptech, while leveraging the multiple streams of innovation we already have underway in the field of property development and construction”.

Dominic Wilson, Managing Partner of Pi Labs, said of this partnership that, “We are delighted to partner with Bosa Ventures; it’s an incredible opportunity for the start-ups financially and also in terms of global reach. We now also have a close link to North America and a partner to help our companies roll out into those markets. In financial terms, our programme is now one of most competitive in the world and we will continue to source the very best talent and companies from across the globe as a result. And crucially for Pi Labs, it’s also a ringing endorsement for the programme we have built here in London and quality of companies we have coming through. That said, we still believe we have areas to improve upon and we believe Bosa Ventures has a crucial role to play in that process.

Applications for Pi Labs’ Cohort four are open. Apply now at


A Note to Our Investors, Partners & Portfolio Companies

The last few weeks have created a sense of uncertainty and chaos, as politicians grapple with the reality of the Referendum result. The implications for the UK are far reaching and every industry, without fail, will feel the winds of change.

The Tech industry is no different and we have received numerous requests from media, investors, and portfolio companies as to what we feel the future holds. This note is a specific address to that question, now that we have had the time to properly reflect on and digest this new environment we find ourselves in.

At a basic level, there are two macro factors affecting tech. The first is an attitude to risk. In volatile markets, there tends to be flight to safe haven assets such as gold or gilts. Venture has always been the sharp end of the stick from a portfolio point of view – high risk with very high rewards on offer. Given the volatility in the equity and bonds markets, allocation to venture may well suffer due to the denominator effect, especially in institutional portfolios. However, what is also true is that venture now represents a better investment proposition than ever before. The ecosystem in Europe is increasingly more mature, there are more funds supporting early stage companies than previously and you have a cooperative public sector in terms of state support. Further, compared to more stable asset classes such as equities, bonds and even real estate, venture is now a better risk-adjusted investment offering: it is still high risk of course, but these alternative “secure” asset classes have become more volatile recently, yet without the prospect of higher returns.

The second factor is the status of London as the pre-eminent tech hub in Europe. There have been plenty of other European cities putting their hands up in the last few weeks in order to lure start-ups away. But it is not happenstance that London is at the epicentre of this industry in Europe. It has a rare blend of finance, industry, creativity and arts & culture that serves as a perfect petri dish for innovation and technology. This combination has been years, if not decades, in the making and is not something that other cities can just replicate at a click of a button. Yet it’s the cultural diversity in the capital that is the key ingredient in making this possible and we must work together to ensure that it is preserved. There can be no room for complacency.

Pi Labs is clearly also influenced by the direct impact on the real estate industry. The last week has seen some panic seep into the sector with the closing of various open-ended property funds. Yet, our research and feedback tell us that investors had become circumspect about the pricing in the UK property market well in advance of the Brexit vote. Many felt that the market had become overheated with the influx of foreign capital and as such they had become sellers, not buyers. Indeed, a number of these investors have chosen to invest with us to switch their focus from real estate to tech, albeit with a close nexus to their core sector.

Pi Labs is a global investor in proptech and as such our investment remit extends far beyond the issues surrounding Brexit and the EU. We continue to see proprietary dealflow from Asia and the US; indeed we are in due diligence on two deals in these regions.

Regardless of geography, dislocation in the underlying real estate markets is a boon for proptech companies as it forces asset holders, investors, and owners to be creative in their search for yield and/or value. Property companies and investors will be forced to use new tools to deliver better returns – and technology will be at the front of the queue in terms of the methodologies that will meet this need.

Great companies will thrive in any environment; indeed Uber and Airbnb were both formed in the last recession post the GFC. US based Matterport’s acquisition of Virtual Walkthrough is testament to the enduring quality of the proptech market in the UK, despite recent events. Our portfolio companies all have the potential to be great – that is why we backed them in the first place. Pi Labs remains committed to investing in and supporting the proptech ecosystem and that applies as much to our existing stable of early stage ventures as it does to prospective start-ups seeking investment.

We are very much open for business: we have capital to deploy through our new Fund; continue to make seed investments such as Plentific and are now welcoming and receiving applications for our 4th accelerator programme which starts in January 2017.

The journey may be more precipitous and we must all, together, be vigilant as a result. But we have complete confidence that we are all up for the challenge: We look forward to continuing this journey with you.


Dominic Wilson
Managing Partner

The Proptech BOOM: UK Startup Plentific Raises £2 Million

One of the UK’s fastest growing ‘proptech’ startups, Plentific, raises £2m in funding, bringing total investment in the company to just over £2.9m. The latest round of investment includes major backing from a number of high profile angel and tech investors and Property Innovation Labs (Pi Labs), Europe’s first venture capital platform to invest exclusively in early stage ventures in the property tech vertical.

Plentific, founded by Cem Savas and Emre Kazan, is a home services marketplace designed to help homeowners, landlords and professionals with technology-enabled services. The platform has over 75,000 professionals listed across the UK and helps homeowners collect and compare quotes across over 350 services. The company has ambitions to develop a platform that is able to streamline the highly fragmented £235* billion European home improvement sector. The investment will be used to accelerate the development of additional features as well as to increase brand awareness.

Commenting on the investment, Cem Savas, co-founder of Plentific said: “We’re delighted with this investment which allows us to continue evolving our product and to start stretching our marketing legs. We are driven by making home improvements better value by removing the hassle of back-and-forth phone calls, protecting consumers identity, scheduling, sourcing quotes and payments, so people can focus on getting the work done.”

Plentific has earned the trust of Zoopla, Primelocation and the Planning Portal to power their ‘Find a Pro’ pages and will announce further partnerships throughout the year. In March, Plentific was selected to be a part of the Everline Future 50 for Real Business, and have been placed at #35 in the top 100 startups by

Commenting on the investment, Dominic Wilson, Managing Partner at Pi Labs, said; “We’re extremely pleased to be backing Cem and Emre in what is a huge market opportunity. The home services market is a key investment theme for Pi Labs given the strong European consumer fundamentals and Plentific’s speed of product development and calibre of partnerships were decisive factors in our involvement. It is an excellent first seed investment for our new fund and represents exactly the type of innovative, tech-enabled product, led by a great management team, we are looking to invest in.”

For Pi Labs, one of the principal investors in the Plentific fundraise, the investment further supports the booming activity in the proptech space with Plentific one of a number of startups looking to shake up this category. Pi Labs recently held a first close on its £10m fund, which continues to attract fresh capital, to invest in other startups in the sector, with Plentific its first seed deal of approximately 20 investments it expects to make over the next three years. Pi Labs is also planning an additional 20 pre-seed investments through its accelerator programme and recently announced the first five for this fund earlier this year.

Concluding on the announcement Emre Kazan, co-founder of Plentific, “Pi Labs was a key VC we wanted to have in the round. They have been operating in the European property market for some time so their domain expertise and experience will be invaluable as we look to realise our ambitions of making Plentific Europe’s biggest home improvement marketplace.”