A European PropTech View, with Palle Geltzer Dinesen from UbiqiSense.
Welcome back to 'A European PropTech View, by Dilan Omari-Clark' our Q&A focused on European PropTech's.
Our Q&A series is an opportunity for our European team, headed up by Dilan Omari-Clark to discuss all things PropTech, Start-ups, and Career with different founders from across the continent. Each month we will ask our guests some burning questions and quiz them about their product, we hope you find it insightful and enjoy getting to know the founders as much as we have.
UbiqiSense is based Copenhagen, Denmark and was founded in 2016. The company specialises in the fields of IoT, Smart Sensors, buildings, workspace, and space management. Their smart technology provides an integrated solution, which combines hardware and software components with AI algorithms to capture GDPR compliant occupancy data.
How did you find yourself working in the PropTech sector?
I had spent 15 years working with camera technology for mobile phones. In 2015, I observed that mobile phones were becoming extremely good at not only taking high-quality pictures, but also understanding the content of those pictures, face detection being one good example. Given my engineering background, I started exploring how to leverage decades of Research and developmentD work from the mobile industry into developing a best in class intelligent visual sensor. By 2016 I made the decision to leave my old industry and focus on developing new sensor applications.
We quickly zoomed in on Smart Buildings, where we could see a real value of adding visual intelligence. It took a few years before we realized, that what we were doing was actually Proptech.
At what point did you realise there was a gap in the market, and you had the product for it?
I distinctly remembering attending an IoT conference where a key note speaker from a global IT company was sharing how they were disrupting large buildings by installing motion sensors under every desk to understand occupancy. My immediate thoughts was to do that in a much more intelligent and cost-effective way. Using the sensor and adding much more visual intelligence on top of that – all in the same solution – would be truly disrupting. So that was really the eureka moment in terms of defining our value proposition for the market. Today, four years later, UbiqiSense has customers across EMEA using our intelligent occupancy sensor together with our analytics platform.
Future of PropTech, what do you think is going to be important this year?
This year is going to be all about bringing buildings and offices back to life. Everyone is questioning what that office is going to look like post Covid. I personally believe it is important for any organization to bring employees back to the offices in some type of capacity. Many things can be done online which we all embrace, however company culture, dynamics and interactions between people is important. Therefore I believe that the agenda for many executives in 2021 will be about shifting priorities looking into two major agenda topics. The first one is “how do we ensure that employee retention and satisfaction is high” and secondly, “evaluating if the space and office environment needs to be revised”. The best way to really enable this is rely on data, specifically data on how people use and interact with the buildings. How will the employees use the various areas of the buildings, like desk areas, meeting rooms, collaboration spaces etc. This may well be totally different from how it was used before the pandemic, especially since office use will be much more flexible and erratic with many more video meetings than before for example. The key to a successful return to the office will be actionable insights based on all these data, and fortunately that is exactly what we offer.
LMRE are specialist PropTech recruiters, if you need help growing your business or making any key hires please get in touch via the form below!