PropTech1 Ventures and BitStone Capital invest in Simplifa, the digital property manager for elevators

Berlin, September 7, 2018 – Since the start of its investment activities, PropTech1 Ventures, Germany’s first venture capital fund specializing in European PropTech start-ups, has evaluated over 150 startups from the PropTech segment and is now making its first investment in the Simplifa digital elevator property manager. PropTech1 Ventures invests in the seed financing round together with BitStone Capital as co-lead investor with a consortium of renowned business angels such as Lars Grosenick (co-founder Flowfact) and Marc Stilke (ExCEO Immobilienscout24) as well as existing shareholders in Simplifa, which is also supported by the European accelerator blackprint PropTech Booster. PropTech1 is currently in advanced negotiations with other start-ups and will announce these shortly after signing the investment agreements.

The PropTech startup Simplifa offers real estate owners an all-round service in the field of elevator management with the help of Smart Building and Internet of Things technologies and already manages more than 1,000 elevator installations. Elevators are a pain point for their owners: The operating and maintenance costs of the elevator are one of the highest costs per square meter in the building, and breakdowns generate extreme dissatisfaction among users, high administrative costs and can even lead to justified rent reductions. The implementation of operator obligations, such as maintenance, documentation and repair, is the original responsibility of the property owners. However, due to the high effort involved and the often lacking expertise, this is usually not only inefficient, but also entails legal risks, for example due to omitted maintenance measures. In addition, maintenance costs between owner/administrator and elevator maintenance company are highly asymmetric, often leading to disproportionately high costs.

Simplifa structures, optimises and manages the elevator portfolios of its customers. The startup serves owners and elevator service companies as a central point of contact and acts as an expert at eye level during negotiations. Each elevator is technically inspected and recorded in 360° images to recreate a virtual “Elevator Twin”. In the event of system malfunctions, the “Elevator Twin” enables the maintenance company to guarantee a much faster and more targeted repair without having to send out a technician beforehand. Thanks to Simplifa, the elevator’s operating and maintenance costs are regularly reduced by around 30% while the performance content remains the same. In the future, the transmission of sensor data will provide a manufacturer-independent real-time analysis for a predictive maintenance system, reducing the manual inspection frequency of the elevators and avoiding particularly cost-intensive system failures in advance.

Marius Marschall von Bieberstein, Founding Partner of PropTech1 Ventures and long-time real estate entrepreneur, comments on the investment decision: “Although elevators are the lifeline of a building, their management has always been neglected. Until now, there has been no digital specialist who has offered real estate owners an all-round, worry-free solution. I know not only from my own experience that there is a need for this, but it is also confirmed by the fact that Simplifa has already won various clients from all asset classes. Simplifa raises the enormous optimization potential in this large, so far little addressed market and delivers a win-win-win situation for property owners, maintenance companies and tenants through technological solutions”.

Kai Panitzki, Managing Partner of BitStone Capital, adds: “We were particularly impressed by the team of founders. Ludwig von Busse knows the industry inside out thanks to years of working for Otis. Hubertus von Schierstaedt brings in his interdisciplinary management and financial knowledge from more than a decade as managing director and active partner of various construction and real estate companies”.

Nikolas Samios, Managing Partner of PropTech1, also explains: “As a risk capital investor, we find the business model economically attractive: The contracts with Simplifa are issued on a subscription basis, i.e. regularly recurring revenues are generated over a customer relationship lasting many years. Last but not least, we are pleased to have formed a strong investor consortium together with BitStone Capital, Lars Grosenick, Marc Stilke, blackprint PropTech Booster and other existing shareholders to actively support Simplifa’s development beyond pure growth capital”.