Requests for Startups

Styx Urban Investments is not your traditional VC, but one which prides itself on operational excellence.

Florian Fischer
Mar 1 · 6 min read

Styx executes upon this claim, ensuring that the promise of an operational VC investment is evident from day one. We achieve this by offering those Proptech startups we invest in access to our Living Lab. The Styx Living Lab is a mixed-use real estate portfolio spanning across 250 properties, which we provide as a sandbox to those companies we invest in. With access to a real world environment with over 5,500 residents to test a company’s PoC, we ensure that our portfolio companies benefit from a real use case from day one.

As to execute on this promise, Styx is on a mission to attract and invest in those Proptech companies that can benefit most from having access to the Styx Living Lab. That is why we are publishing this “Request for Startups”, as we are on the lookout for those companies which best compliment our investment thesis, while benefiting from direct access to our Living Lab.

Proptech encompasses a breadth of verticals, all of which could benefit from working closely with Styx. We would of course love to hear from all of you, but we are really on the lookout for those companies that truly fit with our investment thesis.

That is why we want to hear from companies that operate within the following verticals. However, do not be put off if your vertical is not listed. We all make mistakes, and you may just spot an opportunity to work with us that we missed.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Let’s start with “Buzzword Bingo”, was probably your first thought when you saw AI.

However, we see great things coming from what AI can do, especially when applied to the real estate market. There is simply too much data being created by real estate for us to process, and make accurate decisions from. That is why we need help from computers, which offer an unbiased answer to many of our questions. We are only human after all!

We want to hear from startups that have created great solutions that can be applied to our own narrow domain of real estate. We are not experts when it comes to AI, so we expect you (or your solution) to come up with the use case and answers we are looking for.

Great example: Signatrix & Standard Cognition

CONSTRUCTION

We’re looking for companies who go beyond hammers and nails using smart tech.

Construction is a multi-trillion dollar business, which still relies on billions of pieces of paper each and every year. The breadth of the industry is also enormous, and could benefit from being further segmented for simplicity. However, we don’t have all day.

Getting straight to the point, we are looking for companies that can improve construction workflows and add transparency to some of the more ‘murky’ processes that take place in the construction industry.

Great example: Alasco & Katerra

LOCAL COMMERCE

Thanks (not really) to a global pandemic, local commerce is finally seeing some major changes.

E-commerce is forever changing how consumers interact with local commerce, more so since the onset of COVID. Commercial, gastronomy and retail will almost certainly never look the same again. But at the same time, we do not want to see them disappear from our highstreets.

That is why we are looking for companies that have found new models and software solutions that help local commerce to grow post-COVID, and remain relevant for consumers.

Great example: Colu & EatWith

LOGISTICS

Getting from A to B isn’t always clear, so we are looking for companies to improve the journey.

Logistics is a great example of an industry needing, and at the same time going through a major disruption. Traditional companies rely on the ‘good old ways’, which does not mean they are run most efficiently, or sustainably.

We love companies that can improve already existing supply chains, with a major focus around last mile delivery and reducing emissions to improve the quality of the cities we live and work in.

Great examples: Forto & Sennder

MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS

We personally hate it when things break. In real estate, this happens more than you think.

Large property portfolios require a lot of maintenance and repair work, and we know this first hand. Additionally, you would be amazed at the number of emails and phone calls our maintenance teams have to make in order to repair the smallest of items, while managing their workflows using, you guessed it, Microsoft Excel.

Neither are good, and that is why we want to hear from companies that can help to improve communication amongst our teams, and ensure that there are standardised processes in place to improve productivity and lower costs.

Great examples: Visitt & Mellon

NEW WORK

We all now live in a post-COVID world, which will affect how we work in the future.

Working from home is now a thing. With the likes of Zoom and Google Hangouts (nearly) seamlessly replacing traditional face-to-face meetings, we believe that only the surface has been scratched when it comes to how teams will work in the future. We are curious to understand the future relationship between employees and work spaces will be.

We believe that the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to the subject of new work, and admittedly somewhat struggle to find ways of providing concepts within our Living Lab. However, if you see something that we don’t, we would love to hear from you.

Great examples: Independesk & Unicorn

INTERNET OF THINGS

It’s about time that we were all connected. Thankfully, we already are.

We now live in a world where technology is truly connected, processing and exchanging an unprecedented amount of data. However, we don’t really understand, or know exactly what to do with it all. So it seems to ‘float as lonely as a cloud’.

We want to make sense of all this data, and furthermore use it to make informed decisions that help to improve how we manage our Living Lab. If you are up to the challenge, we want to see what you can achieve with the data that we create.

Great examples: Ubiqisense & WiredScore

TENANT EXPERIENCE

It’s not all about the landlord, as tenants should also benefit from advances in tech.

Admittedly, most services are aimed at landlords. The reason being, it is often them paying for the service, not tenants. However, people now expect more for their money, and with rents ever more creeping upwards, it’s about time that landlords offer their tenants services that make their experiences better.

Whether you are building sharing economy services, rewards programmes, or the infrastructure to connect tenants to their local communities, we are looking for companies that are working to improve not only tenant experiences, but their lives.

Great examples: TULU & Venn

URBAN AGRICULTURE

Most of us now live in cities. It’s about time we brought the farm with us too.

A majority of people now live in cities. However, we still rely on supply chains that bring goods (i.e. food) from rural communities to urban ones. These supply chains are expensive, and contribute to an enormous amount of global emissions. Just research the term ‘food miles’.

Space is of course a major factor when it comes to agriculture, but we do in fact have large unutilised environments within cities that could be put to use as urban agriculture. We are really big fans of urban agriculture, and are always excited to meet new players in the market who can benefit from our Living Lab concept.

Great examples: VerticalField & SoliDrip

WASTE & RECYCLING

We love to come across companies that can find “brass where there is muck”.

Cities generate an enormous amount of waste, and although an enormous effort is put into ensuring that a majority of waste is recycled, unfortunately not all is. The cost of waste is also extremely high, not only from an economic perspective, but from the impact it has on our environment.

This may be considered an unsexy vertical, but it is without doubt one (if not) the most important one. If you are saving our planet with leading tech solutions, there is no doubt we want to hear from you.

Great examples: Delicious Data & Sensoneo

GET IN TOUCH

We want to hear from you!

If you believe that you would benefit from receiving an investment from Styx, and have access to our Living Lab, we can’t wait to hear from you. Feel free to drop us an email, or reach out to us via our network. We are pretty sure that we will have some contacts in common.

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