Founders: Time and Communication Series

Tips on navigating the legal process as effectively as possible

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

This is a fairly long piece so here is short summary of the key takeaways:

  • Set reasonable upfront expectations of how long the legal closing process is going to take. Understand how valuable your time is and the implications for you and your company of this process.
  • Beware difficult times in the calendar and plan around it.
  • Appoint and pay for good lawyers/advisors to guide you. Treat your financing round with the respect it deserves and ensure everyone else does too.
  • Set up a repeatable process of communication that is enacted regularly. …


From freelancers to corporate teams, workers everywhere have embraced coworking spaces. The trend has many implications for how companies operate, but even more interesting is its impact on the world of commercial and office real estate.

Over the past decade, e-commerce offerings and home delivery services have flourished as traditional retail has declined. This has largely been the result of changes in consumer preferences — and that same phenomenon is driving shifts in the commercial and office real estate industry too.

Thanks to the decoupling of work and location in recent years, the flexible workspace industry is booming. According to projections from the coworking magazine Deskmag, 1.7 million people were working from approximately 19,000 coworking spaces worldwide by the end of 2018. …


Since receiving investment from Pi Labs, FalconDHQ has shaped a bold vision for the future of private security. We spoke to their chief exec Benjamin Weld about how digital tools can be used to improve everyday security and what this means for the proptech industry.

At Pi Labs, we seek out disruptive startups and imaginative entrepreneurs with the drive to reshape industries. Our focus is typically on innovation in the property sector, but our approach is wide and deep when looking at the full value chain around real estate. Some of the most exciting ideas are the ones that look beyond traditional industry boundaries; yet still have a fundamental impact on the operation and value of real estate. FalconDHQ certainly falls into that category.

Pioneering a new approach to security

Private security is one of the oldest industries and has enjoyed strong growth in recent years. Half of the planet’s population…


Accommodation operators worldwide are already experimenting with shared urban housing solutions for the future — but there’s still plenty of scope left for startups and investors to seek out opportunities.

Over the past decade, the co-working trend has disrupted traditional approaches to buying and leasing office space. The rise of remote work has facilitated new ways of doing business and redefined what it means to be an employee. As a result, fresh business models and interesting new players have emerged in the arena of commercial real estate. Workspaces, however, are far from the only places facing disruption. Accommodation alternatives are rapidly emerging too.

The term “co-living” refers to residential real estate offerings with communal facilities and shared spaces that move the emphasis away from buying and renting homes. The focus…


From remote-monitoring systems to on-site robots, new technologies are benefiting care home residents, staff and operators alike. The speed of change and the future potential for tech to make an even greater difference are generating opportunities for investors and startups alike.

Technology is transforming care for older people. A 2016 report on care homes in the UK found that the daily physiological monitoring of residents, assisted by telehealth, resulted in an overall efficiency gain of more than +£33,400 a year for the nursing home studied. This level of financial benefit gives care home managers the ability to invest elsewhere, to redirect staff time, or to reduce charges to residents. In short, simple preventative tech can deliver real value.

Many of the new ‘technology-enabled care services’, or TECS, can be used in private home or care home settings. They include telehealth (remote…


As the proportion of older people in populations around the world grows, so too does demand for age-appropriate housing. But today’s older generations want and expect more out of life, which creates opportunities for investors that are willing to break with tradition.

Image: Sam Wheeler via Unsplash

In 2016 a UK study found that while many older people want to downsize, they often find they can’t. Of 19.1 million households, 9.2 million had already moved to a smaller home, were currently considering downsizing or were expecting to buy a more modest property in the future. According to the researchers, however, “whatever the pros and cons of moving, staying put can easily become the path of least resistance”. This is due for the most part to a shortage of attractive real estate options for this growing demographic.

What an attractive option looks like depends on whether older couples…


Since joining Pi Labs’ first cohort three years ago, Airsorted has grown from bedroom startup to leading global proptech player. We caught up with co-founder and COO Daniel Scott to find out what they’ve learned along the way — and what comes next.

Image via Unsplash

When Pi Labs first launched in 2015, our mission was simple: to identify and grow the best new technology companies seeking to disrupt the property industry. Today, one of the most rewarding aspects of our work is seeing these ambitious startups succeed through sheer hard work. Airsorted was among the first ten businesses we ever invested in through our pre-seed programme. Over the past three years, they’ve gone from strength to strength, and from a hungry young startup to a global proptech disruptor. This is their story.

From concept to launch: The rise of Airsorted

Airsorted was founded in London three years ago, around the same time that…


Micro-fulfilment is transforming the way logistics work across cities. Paying attention to this trend and the demand for last mile delivery offers some interesting opportunities for investors and startups alike.

Image: Mathyas Kurmann via Unsplash

The logistics sector is undergoing enormous disruption. In the near future, consumers will be able to receive their items as little as one hour after they place an online order. This might sound like madness, but if you think about it, rapidly-delivered services are already familiar to most urban consumers. Trailblazers like Deliveroo, Ofo and Uber have already made extreme efficiency a day-to-day reality for food, bikes and rides. When it comes to logistics, the principle is largely the same — but the potential is even further-reaching and there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.

Tomorrow’s delivery logistics will…


As high street retailers face unprecedented challenges, the logistics networks that power online shopping are doing everything possible to streamline their global operations.

Last month, clothing retailer New Look announced its decision to close the doors of 60 of its shops in the UK, including its flagship London store at Oxford Circus. Traditionally, Oxford Circus and London’s West End have been viewed as insulated on the wider issues facing British retail, but the game has changed a lot in recent years. Retailers as diverse as Toys R Us and Maplins are heading into administration, while even well-established and popular high street brands such as John Lewis have admitted struggles with declining consumer demand.

Media pundits are quick to blame online shopping for this…


Governments around the world are beginning to register land deeds on distributed ledgers. Since the rise of cryptocurrencies, the blockchain has been hailed as a generation-defining technology that’s set to transform everything from finance to retail. But is it enough to resolve some of the longest standing problems in conveyancing?

Photo: Annie Spratt via Unsplash

In May last year, the UK government announced that HM Land Registry would undertake a wide-ranging digitization effort. The initiative, named ‘Digital Street’, is set to explore whether blockchain technology can help the department become “the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data.”

Already…

Dominic Wilson

Tech Investor: 50+ investments incl @landtechuk @Plentific @getofficeapp @generation_home | Board Trustee @centreforlondon | D&I Advocate | Sport Enthusiast

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