Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties announced that five tech startups had been awarded pilot projects as part of the second cycle of its equity-free accelerator program, Scale Up, alongside strategic partner Majid Al Futtaim Communities.
The five selected businesses specialize in rapidly evolving spatial and artificial intelligence technologies, blockchain, NFT applications, and data analytics.
Developed in partnership with startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global start-up accelerator powered by Tamkeen and anchored at NYU Abu Dhabi, this year’s program focused on attracting international startups with technologies that can reimagine the future of the real estate industry and shape the open metaverse.
The selected businesses for pilot projects by Aldar include LlamaZOO, a spatial business intelligence platform enabling enterprises to create real-time digital twins of places, spaces, and things; Database, an augmented reality outdoor media company, codifying and monetizing digital property rights in the metaverse; and Geotwin, an advanced computing and research startup that operates a SaaS platform and offers a low-risk and cost-efficient way for organizations to test and evaluate strategies and investments.
Sook Space, a platform that provides access to sustainable, affordable, and digitally-connected spaces, was awarded by Aldar and Majid Al Futtaim Communities.
Following a rigorous process of assessing over 300 applications from 69 countries, ten start-ups were accepted to participate in a four-week sprint accelerator. They received training, worked with dedicated Innovation Champions within Aldar and Majid Al Futtaim, and had access to global and regional industry leaders.
The participating startups have raised an average of $632,000 in funding and generated average annual revenue of $619,000. All ten start-ups pitched their solutions to a selection committee for pilot projects with Aldar and Majid Al Futtaim Communities.
“The real estate technology startup landscape has grown over 300% in the past decade with an estimated 8,000 PropTech companies identified, and we are seeing significant demand for PropTech platforms in the UAE, particularly with the global shift towards Web 3.0,” said Maan Al Awlaqi, Executive Director, Strategy and Transformation, Aldar Properties, in a statement.
“Despite an overall decline in global VC funding activity during the first quarter, the value of deals across the MENA region has continued to grow rapidly, with nearly 70% of 2021’s total funding value achieved during the first three months of 2022, indicating significant appetite to invest in start-ups,” Al Awlaqi added.
Shadi Al Azzeh, Managing Director, Majid Al Futtaim Communities, said that advancements in tech would impact mixed-use communities and reduce inefficiencies in neighborhoods. “We expect 2022 to eclipse this, with advancements in the metaverse, sustainable mindsets, the dominance of Gen Z, and new communities dominating the real estate technology landscape. The possibilities for real estate here are limitless, and the true opportunity lies in bridging the built world with the metaverse’s enhanced digital world.”