London for proptech

Green outdoor area at King's Cross station, with a view of orange-brown properties with glass panels.
London is the European capital for proptech, home to more than 500 companies, and one of the leading centres globally. Here are five reasons why proptech is thriving in the city.

1. London's ecosystem

The capital is home to the main client base for proptech – the real estate community. Major landlords and investors are based in the city, many with European head offices, such as CBRE, JLL, Colliers International and Cushman & Wakefield, as well as international headquarters, such as Landsec, Segro, Intu Properties and Hammerson.

London’s proptech ecosystem showcases specialist incubators and accelerators such as Geovation and RELab, and leading industry associations including the UK PropTech Association, New London Architecture (NLA), the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) and the British Property Federation.

2. A hotbed of talent

From architecture and blockchain to construction and data science, the capital has one of the world’s most diverse talent pools for proptech. Two of the world’s top 50 universities for engineering and technology are in London – Imperial College London and University College London, as well as The Bartlett Institute (part of UCL) which is dedicated to the built environment.[1]

London’s universities offer eight master’s degree courses focusing on real estate and 31 teaching urban planning, sustainability and design.[2]

There are also some fantastic initiatives to support professionals in the proptech industry: UKGBC’s Future Leaders programme and NLA’s NextGen initiative focus on the development of business leaders in the built environment.

3. Access to capital

More than £450m of venture capital was invested into London's proptech sector in 2020, with the UK capital receiving 43% of all European proptech investment.[3] Europe’s largest proptech VC, A/O Proptech, and specialist VC funds including Pi Labs, Fifth Wall, Concrete Ventures and Round Hill Ventures, all have offices in the city.

London is where it’s at. The real estate companies are here. The tech companies are here. The VC investment is here. The real estate investment is here. The energy is here. The skills are here. The opportunity is here.
Alex Edds
Director of Innovation, JLL UK

4. Sustainability

London is increasingly leading the way with various initiatives focused on sustainability in the industry. London Councils coordinates cross-borough projects on retrofit and low carbon development. These programmes address major sources of current and future carbon emissions and support important co-benefits around inequality, health and green economic development.

NLA's Net Zero programme brings together built environment professionals and decision makers to share best practices and accelerate the adoption of climate solutions to help create a greener, zero-carbon London.

The drive towards sustainability is also fuelled by major private sector developers and consultancies who have made net zero commitments. UK-based British Land, Landsec, Grosvenor Group and The Crown Estate are all committed to reaching net-zero carbon by 2030.

5. Data and innovation

The adoption of proptech innovation is accelerating and is supported by initiatives in the public sector, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Transport for London (TfL) and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

NLA’s Urban Innovation programme connects tech experts and built environment professionals in London to collaborate on innovative ideas that will help transform the city and solve key urban issues.

London is a city of collaboration. The Planning DataHub is a collaborative project between all of the planning authorities in London to build a single open data set of development proposals in the planning process.

Use the filters in the map to discover the city's ecosystem.

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