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Property technology sees boom in pandemic era, but caution is needed: experts

Bae Seok-hoon, CEO of Cupix, speaks via videoconferencing during a session moderated by Nam Sung-tae, CEO of Zipfund, at Comeup 2021, Wednesday. (Byun Hye-jin/The Korea Herald)
Bae Seok-hoon, CEO of Cupix, speaks via videoconferencing during a session moderated by Nam Sung-tae, CEO of Zipfund, at Comeup 2021, Wednesday. (Byun Hye-jin/The Korea Herald)

Property technology startups, companies that provide digital services in the real estate industry, are enjoying the spotlight due to the digital transformation sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but challenges lie ahead, experts said Wednesday.

“Before COVID-19, the real estate industry was one of the most hesitant to implement innovative digital technology. That was largely because clients needed to visit and see the interior work for themselves before making any investment decisions,” said Bae Seok-hoon, CEO of Cupix, a 3D interior service provider based in South Korea.

But with the pandemic, startups in the field that allow virtual visitations or remote checkups at construction sites have started to garner attention from investors, said Bae via videoconferencing at the Comeup 2021 conference on COVID-19 and the growth of “proptech.”

Bae said several property technology startups in Korea are beginning to seize the opportunity to make their market debuts and raise funds from venture capitals.

But concerns loom over the promise of this new business area, according to Bae.

“If more and more prop tech startups make their market debuts, if the company values are overrated, there could be a risk of a bubble burst, incurring heavy losses to investors,” Bae said.

Sharing Cupix’s experience of entering the US market, Bae said Korean startups must be determined to present top-notch digital technology that can satisfy the needs of global clients. Otherwise, they will fail to survive in the overheated global competition for property technology.

Comeup 21 is the third startup conference hosted by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups from Nov. 17-19 at Dongdaemun Digital Plaza. Under the slogan “Meet the Future: Transformation,” this year’s conference featured 84 startup CEOs as speakers.

By Byun Hye-jin (hyejin2@heraldcorp.com)
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