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Mipim last week, Alt-Fi this week. And the over-arching menace in the background is that dreaded b-word. Brexit.

With regards to brexit’s influence on propTech and the wider real-estate industry, here in the UK reporting falls into three camps, clearly mirroring the views of the authors. Some predict that brexit will boost investment in UK property and tech. Others predict huge losses in the property market which will reflect on propTech. And the ones in between, which I think includes the vast majority including myself, and all MPs, who cannot predict what will happen – nor when.

Here though is a different view, by MP Lee Rowley, who opened the Alt-Fi Summit this Wednesday. The message is to concentrate on propTech and finTech and how these will effect peoples lives, in the long run. From which we are to assume the affects will be positive as well as long lasting.

Brexit, if it is to happen, will massively change real-estate investment and is likely to affect pound sterling one way or another. The effects will also be felt long-term and oh-so slowly as the market adjusts. So therefore it is a bold claim that UK technology will render this effect silent. But this does feel right. We have written before about the quality and breadth of new propTech talent in London. All it takes is for one of these to “Become an Uber”, an Amazon or a Facebook. We have also written about how the real estate industry globally is one of the last bastions of conservatism and is ripe for disruption.

What we havent written about before is how the platform model of growth, which HiP and other propTechs are using, has an entirely different set of economics meaning a very fast uptake though a different set of growth metrics.

To paraphrase:

  • The world’s largest taxi firm, Uber owns no cars
  • The world’s most popular media company, Facebook creates no content
  • The world’s most valuable [b2b] retailer, Alibaba carries no stock
  • The world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb owns no property*
  • And the largest property company? HiP will own no property

So Mr Rowley, we think you are right. Please now fix Brexit for us all, and we shall get back to creating that next big thing.

Here is the article that sparked this one: http://www.altfi.com/article/5156_finTech-will-more-profoundly-affect-britain-than-brexit-says-mp

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