Innovation for the Urban Future

2021 UrbanLab Summary Report

February 22, 2022

In collaboration with real estate industrial leaders, JLL launched UrbanLab, Mainland China’s first property technology (PropTech) accelerator, in 2019. Two years later, UrbanLab upgraded and became the first real estate alliance on technology and innovation. By enabling a sustainable PropTech ecosystem that fosters digital transformation, UrbanLab has continuously been embarking on the expedition to search for the winning combination of business model and technology.

With a broader technology track and upgraded selection process, UrbanLab is more open and inclusive than ever. The summary report, which has highlighted and analysed four future technology themes – ESG and sustainability, smart warehouse, immersive technologies and space-as-a-service, also interviewed 25 leaders from real estate, venture capital and technology sides about their views for the next frontier in PropTech to advise the future of China’s PropTech innovation.

  • The world faces an increasing number of extreme events affected by climate change. As service providers for urban living, real estate companies will avoid systemic risks and achieve mid to long term growth by partnering with start ups that believe in “tech for good" towards a human centric future.
  • While forward thinking logistics operators are increasing investments in technology and innovation, venture capitalists have also begun to pay attention to players in the field of smart warehouses with premium property rental and transactional value.
  • In the future, digital space may become another carrier of human interaction and economic activities, redefining the role of commercial real estate. Immersive technologies such as AR/VR and digital twin will challenge the status quo of physical space, pushing the industry the reimagine business and operation models.
  • User behavior in any commercial space has changed significantly since the pandemic, PropTech has become the key for space operators to guarantee health and safety, meet rising demand, and ensure user satisfaction.
2021 UrbanLab start-up landscape

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