Property technology, also referred to as proptech, has been on the rise globally for the sector’s potential to transform the real estate industry by making it more accessible, efficient and sustainable.
In the Middle East, the trend is rapidly picking up as home seekers, landlords and agents increasingly turn to new-age digital platforms to access sophisticated digital property management tools, tap new real estate investment opportunities and benefit from streamlined real estate transactions.
With proptech on the rise across the region, we look today at some of the Middle East’s fastest-growing proptech startups, delving into their latest achievements and exploring what they have in store for the year to come.
Founded in 2020, Huspy is a proptech startup headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company’s primary mission is to transform and simplify the home buying process, not only in the UAE but also in the broader region.
Huspy utilizes innovative technology as the foundation of its business. The company has developed a comprehensive digital platform that covers every aspect of the home buying journey. The platform connects homebuyers, mortgage brokers, agents and bankers.
Homebuyers can use the platform to search for properties, schedule viewings, secure financing, and complete transactions – all online. Through partnerships with some of the world’s leading banks, Huspy also provides them with access to market-leading interest rates and special offers.
In its first two years of operations, Huspy achieved remarkable success, with a gross merchandise value (GMV) exceeding US$2 billion. The company said in 2022 that it was experiencing rapid month-over-month growth at a rate of 25%, establishing itself as one of the largest housing platforms in the UAE.
In June 2022, Huspy secured a US$37 million Series A to invest in technology development, expand operations in the UAE and Spain, and further enhance its proptech offerings. The round brought the startup’s total funding to US$45 million, making Huspy one of the Middle East’s most well-funded startups, according to Forbes.
Founded in 2007, Property Finder is a property portal in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region connecting millions of property seekers with thousands of real estate professionals every day. The company’s platform aims to disrupt the traditional classifieds model by connecting renters and buyers with landlords, sellers, and real estate brokers, embracing the digital revolution and rapid transformation.
Simplifying business for all its customers, the home search platform offers a host of products and services including SuperAgent, the MENA’s first artificial intelligence (AI)-driven ranking system; and Mortgage Finder, a tech-enabled end-to-end service mortgage provider in the UAE.
Since its inception, Property Finder has expanded its operations across MENA and has solidified its presence by acquiring shares in leading tech players, contributing to the growth of the proptech ecosystem in countries like Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey.
In October 2023, Property Finder reported 7,128 real estate transactions worth AED 29.7 billion (US$8 billion) in Dubai alone, marking a significant 17.46% increase in value compared to the previous year. The startup, which is headquartered in the UAE, has secured more than US$140 million in funding so far, data from Dealroom show.
Founded in 2019, Nomad Homes is a software-enabled marketplace for residential real estate across Europe and the Middle East (EMEA). The company aims to bring innovation to the real estate industry by facilitating seamless property transactions and simplifying the home buying and mortgage journey for both agents and buyers.
Nomad Homes enables real estate agents to collaborate more effectively, enhancing their earning potential. The platform also provides agents with tools and resources to streamline their operations and boost productivity.
For buyers, Nomad Homes offers a co-pilot tool that assists them throughout their home buying process. This tool simplifies the journey by providing valuable insights and support, making it easier for buyers to navigate the complexities of purchasing a property. In addition, buyers receive exclusive access to the largest collection of off-market properties
Nomad Homes, which is headquartered in the UAE, closed a US$20 million Series A extension round in October 2023. The company said that it would use the proceeds to continue investing in growth, further build out its AI-driven co-pilot for buyers, and launch Nomad Homes Private Client, a bespoke service for clients purchasing a single property or a portfolio of assets worth over AED 10 million (US$2.7 million).
Operating in France, Spain, Portugal, and the UAE, Nomad Homes says it has grown over 24x since its prior fundraise in September 2021 despite rising interest rates and headwinds in the real estate sector.
Founded in 2022, Keyper is a real estate technology company based in the UAE that offers a comprehensive property management platform. The company’s platform serves as a bridge between tenants, property owners, and investors, introducing advanced solutions to streamline the management and investment processes within the real estate sector.
Leveraging advanced technologies, such as its consumer live real estate portfolio valuation and app-first approach to property management, the Keyper platform allows tenants to track their expenses and charge online, and lets investors manage their real estate portfolios and access data-driven insights.
In May, the company launched its Rent Now Pay Later (RNPL) product, allowing Dubai tenants to pay their rent in monthly instalments with their credit cards. The product has so far been a success, regenerating over 5,900 applications, representing over AED 384 million (US$104 million) in annual rent demand.
Building on the success of RNPL, Keyper recently introduced Upfront Rent, enabling landlords to receive the full year’s rent in a single upfront payment, thereby providing instant access to cash and eliminating default risk.
Keyper secured a US$6.5 million Seed round last month to accelerate the growth and expansion of its Rent Facilitation and Property Management capabilities.
The startup claims it has onboarded over 2,100 freehold residential units in Dubai, valued at over AED 4.5 billion (US$1.2 billion), and over 800 landlords to its platform so far.
Launched in 2021, Stake is a digital real estate investment company from the UAE that aims make real estate investing accessible, affordable, and hassle-free for everyone. The company provides a digital platform that allows individuals to invest in a diverse range of properties with as little as AED 500 (US$136).
Stake operates on the concept of fractional ownership, where investors pool their funds together to collectively own shares in a property. Through the app, users can browse and select from a curated portfolio of properties available for investment. Once an investment is made, investors become fractional owners and can benefit from rental income and property value appreciation.
Stake currently operates in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) but recently obtained the approval from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in Saudi Arabia to enter its Fintech Lab. The startup plans to launch Saudi Arabian real estate investment opportunities on its app by the end of the year.
Stake claims that it has distributed over 100 rental properties, worth approximately AED 200 million since its inception. Last year, the startup secured over US$8 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A funding round, bringing its total raised funds to over US$12 million. It said at the time that it had registered an average 17% monthly growth rate in both investors and assets under management (AUM), and 500% overall growth in AUMs in the prior 12 months.
Founded in 2021, Silkhaus is a tech startup headquartered in Dubai that provides a digital platform for the short-term rental industry. The company’s platform aims to empower property owners with digital tools to monetize and manage their properties as short-term rentals, while providing business and leisure travelers with high quality accommodation experiences.
Silkhaus optimizes revenue and streamlines operations for property owners, allowing them to list multiple or single units on the platform and providing them with an array of digital tools that facilitate efficient management and monetization. Guests, meanwhile, can easily access high quality, well-maintained properties, elevating their experience, whether they are travelling for business or leisure.
Silkhaus, which operates across MENA, South Asia and Southeast Asia, claims it currently manages a portfolio of over US$120 million worth of real estate with landlords earning 20-40% more than traditional long-term rental options. It says that guests from more than 120 countries have already benefited from the platform’s offerings.
Silkhaus raised US$7.75 million from global investors, in one of the largest Seed rounds in the Middle East last year. The startup said at the time that it had grown over 10x over the prior 12 months.