Let’s build a smart property world together!
Aareal Bank Group is an established partner of the property industry. We are constantly refining our service portfolio in order to provide our clients with convincing solutions – and in this process, we are always on the lookout for fresh ideas and innovative approaches that are in line with our strategy. These are very often discovered with company founders. They have the courage and creativity to invigorate new and existing business models. This is precisely why we seek to collaborate with these individuals, and our commitment to them has been bundled within our Group-wide Start-Up Programme.
Network, cooperate and learn from each other
For us, this collaboration is about gaining an even better understanding of what the drivers of digital development are and getting even closer to key trends, in order to increase our capacity for innovation and provide digital solutions that offer our clients real added value. We don't just provide company founders with financial support in this process – as our partner, they also obtain access to our extensive cooperation network and in-depth sector expertise.
One programme – four fields of action
At Aareal Bank, we have four different ways we cooperate with fintechs, proptechs and other start-ups:
1. Accelerator programmes
Support programmes are combined under this heading, which provide start-ups with financial resources, office space, mentoring support and training schemes. This allows them to focus on developing their ideas and making them ready for the market. One example: our IT subsidiary Aareon is supporting Germany's first proptech accelerator as a strategic partner. Its name: blackprint PropTech Booster. It brings company founders and established industry players together.
Getting in touch with exactly those start-ups that match us and our questions – this is also the key to our participation in the A2 Accelerator "Smart City" at the Adlershof in Berlin. The programme aims at jointly developing new solutions and smart ideas for the city of tomorrow. In 2018, Aareal Bank participated as one of three established corporations from the energy and property industries.
Our experiences with start-ups were very promising right from the beginning. This was reason enough for us to start working with Plug and Play, the world's largest start-up platform. Together with TechQuartier, Plug and Play founded the Fintech Europe innovation platform in Frankfurt in 2018. Aareal Bank was involved in this process from the outset as a founding member. This allows us to collaborate with the world's best financial sector start-ups and develop applications that are relevant to our clients.
Innovative ideas here, sector expertise and connectivity to existing systems there – collaborations between start-ups and us, as an established player in the property sector, make perfect sense for both parties. And it is our clients who ultimately reap the most benefits. A few examples:
French partner company that facilitates predictive maintenance of networked lifts, heating systems and smart meters. Connected to the Mareon service portal in France and Aareon Smart World, thereby increasing the functions they offer.
Partner company based in Hamburg, which is developing the new Aareal Account Kautionen (tenancy bond) solution together with Aareal Bank. This is a specialist web-based tenancy bond management system that is compatible with the other software landscape as an independent stand-alone product. It offers process-oriented, electronic tenancy bond management with numerous labour-saving workflows – from the automatic allocation of a tenancy bond to the correct tenancy agreement through to interest calculation.
French partner company that provides a comprehensive open platform for the entire property industry in the form of its Intent Platform. The Mareon service portal in France and Aareon Smart World are connected to the Intent Platform, providing them with additional valuable data on tradespeople and service providers as well as IOT data.
Partner company based in Germany that has developed an electronic access system with a digital administration portal, which can be used to manage access rights to all doors in a property portfolio. The system is integrated into Aareon's tradesperson platform. It enhances the value of the property, improves security thanks to its encrypted communication technology and reduces costs, because it means employees can obtain access to properties more quickly and easily.
This Dutch company has developed a platform to establish more efficient communication between rent debtors and creditors – for example, via WhatsApp messages and robotic calls. The added value lies in the fact that outstanding debts are significantly reduced and tenants can settle their debts more quickly.
This service, which originates from Scandinavia, automatically collects all energy consumption data for a user from energy supplier databases or directly from networked meters, thereby highlighting any potential savings. Users can choose from smart energy services via a digital marketplace in order to optimise their energy consumption.
The objective of this Berlin-based start-up is to significantly improve data availability and quality in everyday business operations in the property industry by ensuring modern, digital data management. Enabling its clients to get the most out of their own data and external data – this is what the company stands for. In doing so, it operates in accordance with state-of-the-art data protection guidelines ensuring the highest level of security..
This Dutch partner company provides a digital signature validation service. The solution can be integrated into a number of applications such as OpenText, SharePoint, Nintex, K2 and IBM Case Manager and complies with European standards. The advantage: workflows are significantly optimised.
3. Strategic equity investments
Immomio has set out on a course to revolutionise the letting process for the housing sector. The Hamburg-based startup began in 2014 with a web-based customer acquisition management system for management and lettings agents that makes the online search for tenants almost entirely digital thanks to a proprietary matching algorithm. The solution frees up time for both providers and customers and therefore cuts costs. The partnership with our IT subsidiary Aareon began in early 2018.
At the start of 2019, we successfully acquired plusForta, a market-leading provider of tenant deposit guarantees in Germany. These have become an established alternative to cash bonds and are accepted as rent security deposits. plusForta arranges these bonds via the online platforms kautionsfrei.de and kautionsfuchs.de. The service is aimed at tenants of residential apartments and commercial property.
OSRE B.V. makes transactions related to the sale and rental of properties more efficient via its digital solution platform. The aim of the partnership in the Netherlands is to integrate OSRE B.V.’s software into Aareon Smart World and to open up markets jointly. The added value of OSRE B.V.'s digital platform is the complete automation of transaction processes related to the property industry. From advertisement to reconciliation of tenants/interests, from on- boarding to signing a contract - companies can carry out transactions quicker, smarter and safer. The investment has been held since April 2019.
In mid-2019, we invested in PropTech1 Ventures, a venture capital fund specialised in European proptech start-ups. The sector-specific fund focuses on the property industry. By investing a mid-range single-digit million euro amount in PropTech1 Ventures we continue to drive forward our strategic agenda with the aim of penetrating relevant ecosystems in the property industry.
In July 2020, our latest investment, objego, was launched in the form of a joint venture together with energy services provider ista. Founded in 2020, this proptech from Essen offers private landlords an intelligent solution for managing their properties, with cloud-based management software providing for straightforward service charge billing, financial management and digital documentation management. objego is also working consistently on further functions to simplify the daily routine of landlords, and the long-term goal is to cover the entire property life cycle with this Internet-based platform. For us, this investment marks an important step in the targeted expansion of our current institutional housing business towards the private landlord sector.
4. Own start-ups
To validate own business concepts in the market, Aareon established a new structure: Ampolon Ventures, the brand used by AV Management GmbH. Thanks to its integration into the PropTech scene, Ampolon Ventures pursues the objectives of founding new ventures, and to enter into partnerships with ambitious founders. Ampolon Ventures entered into its first venture financing in the first quarter of 2019.
Interested? Then get in touch!
Do you have ideas or possible solutions that could offer real added value to our clients from the world of property? And are you looking for an established partner to help you make your innovations a reality? If so, then please get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you. Let’s build a smart property world together!