Here's what we're covering this week's edition of the GEM Crystal Radar:
- Domicile announced their "Game of Homes," allowing users to challenge friends and put their real estate knowledge to the test in a new game.
- Beewise is fusing tech like cameras, sensors, and feeding systems with beehives to help expand the honeybee population.
- To no surprise, scooter company Bird filed for bankruptcy. The future of mobility companies will have to learn from their mistakes.
- We're still trying to figure out what separates Adam Neumann's Flow property in Fort Lauderdale from every other Class A multi-family asset.
- An update on news from our GEM Diamond Members, and our Proptech Public Portfolio.
Keep reading for full coverage.
Last week, Duke Long explores what happens when tenants demand to be paid to occupy office space.
Before that, Drew Meyers and others reflected on the trends and predictions for 2023.
As always, links surrounded by the ❇️ emoji indicate exclusive GEM Diamond content. If you would like to have access to all links, please consider GEM Diamond membership.
Crowdsourcing Local Real Estate Intel
By: Drew Meyers
There's a new gamification play, Domicile. The "Game of Homes" as they call it.
Think you know more about real estate than your family, friends, or even the pros? Put your real estate knowledge to the test. A one-of-a-kind app experience for connoisseurs of real estate pop culture, home buyers and sellers, and anyone who likes to just look at homes.
Inman leads their coverage with "first-ever," which is...not true. No surprise there, given anytime a product is said to be "first" it's a lie 99.5% of the time. Realius pioneered this category in 2007. Inman even covered House Actually in 2014, a product that has long come and gone. Home Buzz is another attempt that went under nearly a decade ago.
More recently, Playhouse is doing something very similar. I am still intrigued with the category. However, all the same questions posed in ❇️the Transmission about Playhouse apply ❇️. Namely, why now and how the heck will it be monetized?
Feature Image created with DALL-E
Prompt: Real estate meets gaming meets entertainment. Explore real-time MLS listings while playing celebrity home trivia, price guessing games, and building a community of other real estate junkies.
Buzzing From IoTBUILT WORLD
By: Logan Nagel
If you want to feed the world’s growing population, healthy pollinators are a necessity. Unfortunately, viruses, extreme temperatures, and parasites have led to record population losses in recent years. Beewise aims to infuse tech into the picture, and give honeybees a leg up against these threats by deploying smart systems at the hive level.
Beewise’s colonies are equipped with cameras, sensors, feeding systems, and automated entry points that allow beekeepers to remotely track hive health and productivity, dispense food, and contain the insects when necessary. This allows keepers to remotely maintain many hives, keep bees “indoors” when pesticides are being deployed nearby, and nip colony collapse disorder in the bud.
Targeting apiaries and other agricultural producers like almond growers gives Beewise a clear market, allowing the company to raise almost $120 million since its 2018 founding. Agricultural honeybees are highly productive, with the typical 40-hive apiary collecting about as much pollen as 40 million wild bees. A boon for food systems, but as with all things ecological, one species’ success is sometimes another’s detriment. The long-term impact on wild bee populations—important pollinators in their own right—near Beewise’s cyborg hives remains to be seen.
Image created by: Midjourney
Description: Bees flying out of a circuit board beehive, shallow-focus, 35mm, photorealistic, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR, f/5.6 aperture, 1/125 second shutter speed, ISO 100
Sadness in Mobility
By: Drew Meyers
Former electric scooter giant Bird Global filed for bankruptcy, according to The Wall Street Journal. Reasons include litigation expense (100 lawsuits, "mostly personal-injury claims involving scooter riders’ accidents"), declining demand following "significant investments during the Covid-19 pandemic," inflation, and additional competition. "The company’s Canadian and European businesses aren’t part of the bankruptcy and will continue operating as normal." Valued at $2.5 billion in 2019 and having gone public in 2021 via a SPAC, the stock price has cratered (share price of 8.5 cents, and market cap of 1.336 million as of 12/26/2023).
I hate furthering the doomsday sentiment, but the reality is the public proptech markets are in the crapper despite recent stock price increases due to the 2024 forecast for lower interest rates. Especially the insanely capital intensive ones. I'm under the belief that the world needs more urban mobility solutions, not less. But, the business side needs to make sense to warrant their existence. Electric scooters have a place, but are more likely to be a "buy your own" as a bicycle/walking alternative than a rental marketplace. ATV-sized electric vehicles with four wheels, fewer safety risks, and self-driving technology will be a no-brainer....years down the road.
Image created by DALL-E
Prompt: make an image showing bird scooters up in flames
A Flowing Puzzle
By: Drew Meyers
❇️The rental unicorn Flow was minted last year❇️. Following Business Insider being given "a tour of Flow's first branded apartment building, a 639-unit apartment building in Fort Lauderdale," according to Inman, there are a few more details in the public realm. Namely, a team of ten working on what "appears to be the heart of the company’s goal for its buildings, allowing residents to pay rent, unlock doors and communicate with each other." There is still no insight about how residents will earn equity.
Sounds exactly like every other Class A multi-family asset, leveraging off the shelf resident engagement, access, and payment solutions. Honestly, I don't get it. With a16z backing the company, the "dumb money" excuse doesn't apply. The new website does mention "Work in Flow" as one of their value propositions, validating the WeLive parallels. If you have any insight, please do share. I'd love to piece this puzzle together.
Proptech Portfolio Update- 12/29/2023
Consisting of 31 stocks, the GEM Proptech Index had a combined market cap of $182.057B, a 1.48% decrease from the previous week.
GEM Diamond Member News