Aldar invites tech start-ups to apply for its accelerator programme

Focus is on start-ups with the capabilities to reimagine real estate industry through blockchain, NFTs, AI and data analytics

Aldar Scale Up programme aims to bring the best of real estate solutions to the UAE. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Aldar, the UAE's biggest listed property company, unveiled the second cycle of its Scale Up accelerator programme, inviting companies that are digitising the real estate sector.

The initiative is part of Abu Dhabi-based company’s equity-free scheme that provides a gateway for global tech start-ups to access the UAE market.

"The digital transformation of the real estate sector has rapidly accelerated and will continue to evolve at pace with the emergence of Web 3.0 and the movement towards an open metaverse,” Maan Al Awlaqi, executive director, strategy and transformation at Aldar Properties, said.

“Aldar Scale Up programme seeks to bring the best of these solutions to the UAE and help participants scale their ventures, grow their networks and access a large pool of investors, capital and expert mentorship,” Mr Al Awlaqi said.

The programme will tap into the growing PropTech market globally, with the number of companies tripling over the past 10 years and attracting $9.7 billion in funding in the first half of this year, according to JLL’s 2021 global PropTech report.

The accelerator programme aims to offer tangible opportunities to start-ups to grow their businesses through real estate pilot projects with Aldar and Dubai-based strategic partner Majid Al Futtaim Communities.

The programme, which was launched by Aldar in February in association with startAD – an accelerator based at NYU Abu Dhabi – invites start-ups to submit their applications by February 5 next year.

The programme is specifically focused on start-ups with the capabilities to change the real estate industry in more efficient, secure and experiential ways through blockchain, non-fungible tokens, artificial intelligence-powered data analytics and customer experience game-changers like virtual reality, Aldar said.

Entrants should demonstrate a track record of piloting with corporates of a similar nature as Aldar, with series A or B rounds of funding already raised and have sufficient ability to scale their businesses.

“We invite cutting-edge global tech start-ups to partner with Aldar and startAD to redefine the future of this space, by implementing solutions that enable efficiency, affordability, security and sustainability," Ramesh Jagannathan, managing director of startAD, said.

The first edition of Aldar Scale Up received more than 200 applications from 31 countries. Three selected start-ups included German company Envio that offers Internet of Things products to monitor buildings, Finnish company GBuilder that has a system allowing for easier communication between stakeholders on construction projects and UK-based Metrikus, which offers software that focuses on making building and estate operations more efficient.

Updated: December 09, 2021, 8:00 AM