Crowd building ? With Habx, this is about much more.
By : Mathias Flattin
Have you ever wondered why you need to go through your bedroom to use the bathroom (and your guests too…), why there are so many empty parking spaces in the basement while everyone uses bike or bus?
Here is the thing : Your cozy nest was designed for a “cliché” of you, not the real you. This is how your home was created and so are our cities and their related infrastructures.
We’re thrilled to lead the €9.5M Series A round in Habx, the platform for tailor-made property development, along with IDinvest and former business angels.
Make real estate customer-centric !
Today personalisation is everywhere, clothes, watches, glasses, even cars, but still not home!
Recently an entrepreneur told me this : “Think about it, the era of the Ford T ended when Marketing Directors where hired by car manufacturers, around the 60’s, from that day the market became customer centric, the offer switched from “build a car with 4 wheels to drive” to “build a product that will fit its users’ needs”.
For property developers, Marketing joined the game in the late 2000s… Which means real Estate has just started to turn to customer centric !
How to get closer to people real needs ? In the old world, developers used to design buildings and apartments before offering them to potential buyers. This approach requires a deep understanding of market needs. It also has inherent drawbacks :
- Time to market is long. Very long. Selling a project takes 18 months on average right now in France.
- Once the nicest apartments are gone, property developers are stuck with the less appealing ones and have to sell them off.
- More than often, appartements and amenities don’t match the needs of the people who will live in them.
- Customization is virtually impossible, considering that moving a socket costs up to 3,000€.
This is history.
Habx now allows developers to collect citizens need, and proceed to building with their wishes in mind. On the other side, potential acquirers can pre-design their home on the platform in advance*. The platform makes the most of Building Information Modeling technologies (BIM), allowing the buyers to customize virtually anything on the project, from the floor, sun exposure, the type of balcony, room arrangements, and kitchen details.
How to defrost an entire market
The property development industry has been structurally frozen for years. On the financing side, developers are stuck with equity requirements that prevent them from launching too many projects at once. To them, selling faster will mean more capacity in the same amount of time and extra growth potential.
Developers are also crippled in their international growth because of the very local challenges met in any given real estate project. Deep knowledge of local players & needs is key. Most have tried, failed, and came back to their play on their national turf. What’s different now is that with Habx, property developers have a scout on international markets. Deploy the platform anywhere, survey and conquer !
We do impact VC
Beyond exciting growth forecasts and a sexy approach to property development, we were impressed by Habx’s social impact for communities on a global scale. Put it simply, Benjamin, Bastien & Edouard are paving the road for better, cheaper housing around the world.
We’ll be 9,8 billion humans by 2050, and 75% of the world population will be urban. Coming from 55% of today’s population it means cities will be 2x bigger in 30 years. How can we house billions of new urban settlers without slowing economic development, penalising the poor and damaging the environment ? Metropolitan areas will have to optimize their development models to make it livable. By aligning the interests of property developers, local governments and end-users’, Habx can help cities grow sustainably, and at scale.
The money, the market
At XAnge we spent quite a lot of time digging into PropTechs. It led us to come out with a fully detailed study, and a mapping of the ecosystem. The spectrum of innovations is as exciting as it is wide, ranging from new construction materials to IoT, financing, property search, etc.
With their capacity to industrialize construction at scale, the guys at Habx are at the forefront (and at multiple crossroads!) of this wave, which is why we are super excited to be part of the adventure. With the funds raised, the team will strengthen its tech : make even better performing algorithms, and work on BIM to implement new plugins (think Kitchen & Furnitures, VR, citizen involvement, mobility…). They will also invest in marketing to attract more and more potential buyers, as well as building partnerships with metropolis worldwide.
* Try Habx ! : https://www.habx.fr/regions/ile-de-france (in French)