Proptech start-up Neighbourlytics has closed $1.25 million in investment funding, attracting the backing of industry leader and RBA board member, Carol Schwartz.
The close of their seed round led by Schwartz’s Trawalla Group, was also supported by Scale Investors, Artesian and a number of individual angel investors.
The Melbourne-based tech start-up is founded by Jessica Christiansen-Franks and Lucinda Hartley who met running consulting company CoDesign.
They went on to found Neighbourlytics in October 2017, drawing on years of experience in urban planning, working out of the CE.Lab in Pelham Street, Carlton.
The software, which has been rolled out across ten different countries, pools publicly-available data from social media and other unconventional information sources to help governments, town planners, property developers and asset managers deliver better economic and social value in communities.
A wide range of private clients, including property developers Stockland, Lendlease and Frasers, have sounded out the fledgling software in order to gauge the quality of urban life and wellbeing in the neighbourhoods they plan, create and manage.
The Queensland government, Greater Sydney Commission and government of Scotland have also joined the company’s global client list which now includes over 60 of the world’s top city shapers.
“Finding out what makes neighbourhoods tick is hard — it’s a major pain point for city-makers who are making huge investment decisions and only have a short window to get it right,” Hartley said.
“While there are many established tools for measuring what is going wrong in a location — such as homelessness, crime, illness and unemployment — the missing piece of the puzzle is a digital tool for measuring local strengths.”
The growth funding will be used to fast-track development of new technology with new benchmarking tools now under development.
“With almost 70 per cent of the world’s population set to be living in cities by 2050, city-makers urgently need to better understand the people and places they are building for,” Christiansen-Franks said.
“We’ve had increasing international demand for our product over the past 12 months; evidence to the fact that city-makers want solid data to better understand not only the physical places they create, but the liveability and wellbeing of those neighbourhoods.”
With 15 million Facebook users in Australia, social media data continues to offer invaluable, large-scale, and at times surprising insights that may not be channelled in demographic profiles or community consultation.
City-planners have now begun to tap into streamlined and centralised data provided by emerging Proptech platforms to better inform planning decisions and build unique narratives about a place in order to improve neighbourhoods.
Trawalla group director Carol Schwartz, who is also a board member for the Reserve Bank of Australia and the founding chair of Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, said the platform was uniquely placed to have a significant impact on the cities of the future.
“Neighbourlytics is a game-changer for the property sector. Our industry is facing huge challenges as urban development continues to drive growth and city-makers grapple with the needs of rapidly changing communities.
“Jessica and Lucinda’s vision to create cities that people love and feel connected to has driven the development of their technology, which has the capability to transform city-making around the world.
“We’re excited to be a part of this next phase of the company’s growth.”