As Business Arena 2017 in Stockholm’s Waterfront Congress Center approaches in a bit over weeks’ time, it is worth to update the Stockholm proptech scenery.

To start with let’s state the obvious: Stockholm is the #Unicorn factory. It has produced some of the latest and largest success stories of technology entrepreneurs – Skype, Spotify, iZettle, Klarna to mention a few – and a lot of exits! The tech scene is nicely captured at 10 Most Impressive Facts About Stockholm’s Tech Scene.

There are plenty of explaining factors why this was possible especially in Stockholm, but the question is, can the same success be repeated for #proptech as well?

There is the property industry and there is sufficient amount of early stage investors and venture capitalists. There are some notable incubators and communities, such as SUP46. There is the talent pool, and Stockholm is even drawing some bright and aspiring individuals to its tech scenery outside of Sweden, but the most crucial question is – is the industry appetite there for the new?

Prop tech scenery is mirrored by some prominent established players, including legacy system providers and media houses, which may explain why we have not witnessed the rise of incumbents to the degree one might expect to happen in Stockholm, given the circumstances. Naturally the industry is slow to move but what I call the Scandinavian curiosity for the new and appetite for the digital is yet to be witnessed.

Steps taken forward on digitalization

Just looking at startups of the industry may not give the full picture of the situation. I think digitalization as a whole is on the agenda, and here what I think stands from the ground is the initiative of national Land registry (Lantmäteriet), where they are boldly going to take the manual and paper-intensive property transactions into a platform based on Blockchain technology. That’s the spirit! And I think as long as kept open to all interested parties this can truly build an ecosystem around itself, and bring some digital wealth to Sweden as a whole. Even the corporations are making some encouraging moves, such as Castellum.

Nordic Property Technology coming to a focus

So, the scenery is gradually picking up. First of all, the investors are picking up the #proptech as a separate domain of its own – distinct from #Fintech – and here Nordics make no exception. Secondly, who to promote the technology if not the industry itself? I welcome the Nordic Proptech Summit Initiative taking place in Stockholm on October 5th.

To conclude, Stockholm is part of the bigger Nordic prop tech scenery. Even though vibrant, liquid and transparent markets as Nordic property markets are, they are just a small fraction of the global property market. This means that in order to really make it, one has to go beyond national borders. Here the Nordic markets build a natural platform and stepping stone to build the first MVP of your product, test and fine-tune with the customers and then take the next step and reach out to the world – hopefully with a sufficient backing of an investor and / or partner with bigger muscles.

This I suppose is why Slush is for the second time having a separate proptech event during the intense and hectic three days in Helsinki in November.

Nevertheless, property industry is in need of modernization – and this is where proptech can greatly contribute!

Author of this blog is Hannu Rantanen, CEO of Assetti. Hannu’s contact information: +358 40 537 8722 or hannu@assetti.pro.

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