COMPANY SET TO TRANSFORM DEVELOPMENT APPRAISALS RAISES HALF A MILLION
For immediate issue: Tuesday 26th February 2019
Aprao, a revolutionary new company that is set to transform the way that the property industry appraises development opportunities, has secured investment of £500,000 from heavy-weight property, technology and business experts. Led by Surplus Invest, a German-based early stage VC firm, the seed round also included personal investment from angels, Robert Grigg (Executive Chairman of Property Finance at Hampshire Trust Bank) and Conan Lauterpacht (Former VP of Corporate Development at Altus Group), as well as a follow-on commitment from Pi Labs, the PropTech VC firm.
Proptech startups are popping up in London
One of a growing number of notable London-based proptech startups, Aprao was founded in 2017 by industry expert Daniel Norman, and is the first cloud-based tool for running property development appraisals and feasibility reports from anywhere, on any device. With Daniel having worked for over 10 years in property development, development finance brokerage, as well as a lender, Aprao is his brainchild, and based on his own extensive experience of appraising sites, evaluating deals and structuring finance for developers.
In his years of experience, Daniel was involved in the launch of The Strata Fund, created to provide mezzanine finance to experienced residential developers, particularly during the height of the 2008 recession when other banks weren’t lending. Norman was also responsible for property finance lending at Hampshire Trust Bank, the UK’s first specialist challenger bank focused on supporting small and medium-sized housebuilders to fund thousands of new homes.
New proptech companies are changing the real estate landscape
Joining forces with technical co-founder and expert software engineer Jonathan Raoult, Aprao is designed to streamline the appraisal process and interactions with property developers, lenders and professionals.
Daniel Norman, Founder and CEO of Aprao said: “We’re delighted to have been selected as Surplus Invest’s first investment in the UK and close our first round of seed funding. Our mission with Aprao is to leverage tech to create a much smarter development appraisal process. I know from my own years of experience that property development isn’t as easy as it looks and saving time on hugely consuming tasks such as this, is invaluable." Daniel continues: “We estimate that a detailed development appraisal and feasibility report currently takes one to two hours to put together but with Aprao this can be reduced to 5 to 10 minutes, with the software able to assist the user in making fast, data-driven decisions. Typically, only one site out of 60 goes ahead after it has been appraised so this is a huge amount of time saved by both the developer and professional team, but also the lender who must carefully review each one. We hope that the software will take the property world by storm.”
Many property businesses want a tech evolution for commercial real estate firms
Jannis Roser, Managing Partner at Surplus Invest said: “The business opportunity in combination with the excellent founder team gives us a strong reason to believe that [Aprao] is going to transform the way of how property industry appraisals are done sustainably. We are very proud to welcome Daniel and Jonathan as our first UK investment to our portfolio.”
Faisal Butt, the Founder & Chairman of PropTech VC Pi Labs said: “[Aprao] is set to bring the world of property development appraisals into the modern era at long last. Running the numbers on a property development project is far more painstaking and onerous than it needs to be and has remained largely unchanged over time. Having worked in all facets of property development and finance for a decade himself, Daniel has identified a clear opportunity to improve the industry’s antiquated way of doing things. Property appraisals are finally entering the digital age, and we are excited to be a part of it.”
Aprao’s beta software is currently being trialled with selected companies ahead of the company’s official launch this summer. The new funding will enable Aprao to continue developing the software and expand their team. For further information or to join the waiting list, please visit aprao.com.