Jatin Bhurabhai
‘Proptech’ is evolving the way that businesses make decisions about property in both residential and commercial spheres, says GeoPhy’s Jatin Bhurabhai

What is the story of your start-up? How did you get to where you are today?

GeoPhy was founded in the Netherlands in 2014 by a pair of trained architects and engineers, CEO Teun van den Dries and CTO Sander Mulders. The company is focused on providing objective data and analysis for the property and financial sectors.

What is the gap in the market that you’re addressing?

In a world demanding ever-greater transparency, property investment remains incredibly opaque. GeoPhy was founded to change just that.

On a daily basis, investors, banks, pension funds, consultants, governments, agents, and law enforcement and regulatory bodies make key property-related decisions based on partial and inconsistent information.

Right across the property industry, the lack of consistent and reliable data has undermined, devalued, and even potentially destabilised short-, medium- and long-term investment returns. We offer independent commercial property intelligence.

Our audited dataset includes information and modelled insights from the building level right up to national and international location and portfolio overviews. We combine structured and unstructured data into one global standardised property database.

How does it work?

We apply cutting-edge technology to an ever-growing volume of big data. This data is drawn from a wide variety of sources, from publicly owned data sets like the Ordnance Survey to privately owned, commercially generated data. We overlay data sets to cross reference the data and we give the buildings a quality score, which offers an objective international standard and enables our clients to make data-driven property decisions.

The score is based on a number of different data points including information on location, building quality and sustainability. Large funds with diverse, global property portfolios particularly appreciate the holistic view that the GeoPhy dashboard gives them across their holdings, as well as the ability to drill down quickly to look at a particular subset.

What is your target market? Who is using the product at this moment in time?

Our main client base for our data products is made up of institutional investors, including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and investment banks.

We are currently working with a number of the major UK-based international banks and some of the largest pension funds, asset managers and insurers. Customers include pension funds APG and PGGM and Rabobank. We also provide data to government institutions.

Who are you partnering with?

In Q2 2016, Inkef Capital made an investment in GeoPhy as part of a strategic partnership with APG, which is focused on sustainability of its real estate investments and is using GeoPhy’s carbon modelling to understand the energy intensity across its portfolio.

GeoPhy is also partnering with the Dutch infrastructure agency Rijkswaterstaat, to map flood-risk across all the major waterways of the Netherlands using advanced methodologies like lidar, radar-like technology using light from a laser.

Will proptech transform the financial services space?

In a word, yes. ‘Proptech’, or fintech as it relates to the property industry, is evolving the way that businesses make decisions about property in both residential and commercial spheres.

Whether that relates to better data availability to help decision makers, virtual reality for building tours, or the internet-of-things ‘smart metres’ for measuring energy use, the introduction of new technology and digital products will generate better, faster, and smarter outcomes across the property industry, and allied financial services industries.

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