Aldar picks three proptech startups for its 1st scale-up program

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Abu Dhabi-headquartered real estate company Aldar Properties has selected three property technology (proptech) startups for its inaugural Aldar Scale Up accelerator program, which aims to provide a gateway for international businesses with the latest cutting-edge real estate technology to enter the UAE market.

The startups chosen for the pilot projects include German company Envio that offers Internet of Things (IoT) products to monitor buildings, Finland-based GBuilder that has a system allowing for easier communication between stakeholders on construction projects and UK-based Metrikus, which offers software that focuses on making building and estate operations more efficient.

The program, which was launched by Aldar in February in association with StartAD, an accelerator-based at NYU Abu Dhabi, aims to help global companies with innovative real estate technology enter the UAE market.

The startups will benefit from tangible growth opportunities through pilot projects with Aldar and other leading industry players in the region. The accelerator program has provided a way of tapping into the global proptech startup market and harnessing innovative concepts.

Maan Al Awlaqi
Maan Al Awlaqi
Executive Director
Strategy & Transformation
Aldar Properties

“The global startup market has led the charge towards innovation and technological development in recent years and we are now seeing the ramp-up of investment activity in the Middle East. In 2020 alone, more than one billion dollars was invested in startups within the MENA region, according to MAGNiTT’s 2021 MENA Venture Investment Report. The UAE, in particular, has been at the forefront of this boom, accounting for one-fourth of all startup transactions in the region.”

The accelerator program focuses on three key areas, sustainability, data analytics and smart development. It received more than 200 applications from 31 countries and nine startups were selected to take part in curated virtual training sessions, work with dedicated mentors, and connect with Aldar business units. Out of these, three were awarded pilot projects.

The chosen startups have also been automatically shortlisted for Hub71’s incentive program, which offers more than $400,000 worth of equity-free subsidies including free housing, health insurance and office space for up to three years.

Commenting on the program, Managing Director of startAD and also Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship at NYUAD, Ramesh Jagannathan, said, “Real estate constitutes over 50 percent of the world’s assets however, only 58 percent of real estate companies globally have a digital strategy in place. With technological advancements and digitization, the quest for sustainability, and changes in consumer behavior, it is clear that there is an undeniable need for the industry to evolve.”

Aldar Scale-Up Programme is the latest effort by Aldar Properties to support innovation in the real estate industry. Other initiatives launched in recent years include Manassah, Manassah Youth at Aldar Academies, Ibtikar and Innovation Champion program.

Related: UAE’s Aldar to invest in Fifth Wall’s European proptech fund