50 PropTech Companies: Africa Market Map

Published 7 December 2020
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PropTech: Africa Market Map 2020

In a recent report published by the OECD, Africa’s Urbanisation Dynamics 2020, Africa is projected to have the fastest urban growth rate in the world by 2050. This is projected to increase Africa’s urban population by a further 950 million people. Rapid urbanisation is changing the face of the construction and real-estate industries. So is this creating new opportunity for technology companies?

According to Modor Intelligence, a market research company, the African construction market is expected to grow by 6.4% between 2019 – 2024. The speed and scale of development required to meet the population expansion could prove challenging. For PropTech entrepreneurs, technology can both help create efficiency within the construction process, as well as solving other issues such as land ownership, and creating transparency within the real estate industry.

Statista, a global data platform, reports that global PropTech investment, has increased from $2bn in 2013 to $18bn in 2018. But has this trend been reflected in the Africa property market? Research published in Knight Frank’s, The Africa Report, observed that “what started as a trickle through the introduction of online search platforms has become a wave of disruptive and cutting-edge technologies that continue to improve both transparency and efficiency”. With this in mind, we took a look at the companies innovating in the PropTech space.

PropTech: 50 of Africa’s Real Estate and Construction Technology Companies

Our research at Baobab Insights highlighted the companies working across different areas of the value-chain and market. From those companies focussed on supporting the construction industry directly, to those helping residents find their next home. Companies, such as Digital Rental and Instant Property, for example, use the online marketplace model to connect both residential and commercial customers seeking to rent or buy properties with landlords and estate agents.

Digital solutions also play a role in addressing the financing gap which sometimes restricts development. Start-ups such as Nigeria’s RealVest and South Africa’s CrowdProp provide innovative platforms for people to invest into property as an asset class. And Ethiopian company ConDigital, offers construction management software tailored to the African market, helping to improve the efficiency and transparency of the construction industry itself.

Is PropTech rising in Africa during 2020?

Earlier in the year the Baobab Insights team published a report analysing Last-Mile Delivery in Africa, along with research studying On-Demand Mobility, both of which have witnessed a rise in investor activity. Their growth is attributed in part to the growing urban populations across Africa. Given the underlying importance of infrastructure on these and many other sectors, are we likely to see a renewed investor focus on the PropTech market?

Source: Statista

Our analysis indicates, that there have been an increased number of funding rounds closed by PropTech companies in 2020. Despite the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the construction industry, there were a total of 13 funding rounds totalling $7.59 million USD in 2020 (as of December 1st 2020). This equates to a small decrease in the total sum invested compared to 2019, ($7.875 million USD across 9 rounds). Perhaps, given the broader impact of COVID-19, the increased number of funding rounds highlights the importance of the sector? As urban populations continue to grow, so will the need for an ever-more efficient and cost-effective construction and property sector.

Know someone helping to rebuild the construction or real estate sector in Africa? Let us know if we have missed anyone from our PropTech technology map.

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This article was first published in December 2020.