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  • Brigade REAP partners with Habitat for Humanity; Adds new track in Cohort 10 to foster innovation in affordable housing

    Published on August 3, 2021

    Bengaluru : Brigade REAP, Asia’s first real estate startup accelerator, has announced its ‘Cohort 10’, with a new track on ‘affordable housing’ in partnership with Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter. Through the partnership, Brigade REAP and Habitat’s Terwilliger Center will work closely with startups to help bridge the gap between innovation in housing and real-world impact.  The partnership provides a comprehensive platform for affordable housing startups to work with, and benefit from experts in two of the top real estate and housing-focused organizations in the region.  Brigade REAP chose seven startups from 120 applicants as part of Cohort 10, including two startups in affordable housing.

    The other categories addressed in this cohort are robotics, FinTech, water management, EV infrastructure, retail, construction management and alternate building materials. The startups that make up Cohort 10 are:

    1. RecycleX: Revolutionizing Indian Green Building Industry by manufacturing building material products like bricks, paver blocks, tiles, planters, kerbstones from recycle plastic, industrial and construction debris waste. 

    2. Homehub Global: Technology platform to facilitate home construction and mortgages

    3. Favo: Making construction automation accessible to Indian market by providing affordable and comprehensive solutions for brick laying and onsite concrete 3D printing

    4. Troncart: Smart water-metering solution, which offers ultra-low power smart water meters with a complete software stack for administrators and consumers.

    5. Charzer: An aggregator of EV charging stations where users can book, pay and use charging stations

    6. Litestore: An online platform for listing and booking commercial retail spaces and storefronts -ultra short term and affordable. i.e. Storefront-As-A-Service

    7. NAVANC: Aims to be India’s first property Credit Scorecard enabling financial access to the customers by facilitating the Financial Institutions to underwrite and create lifetime value for their assets

    These startups will be part of a program that follows an intensive eighteen-week long cycle to help them unlock value and scale their business.

    “In an effort to boost Brigade’s contribution to the affordable housing segment, particularly in terms of innovation and technology, we have introduced a focused track in our 10th cohort in partnership with the Terwilliger Center. We have noticed that PropTech startups with disruptive and innovative technologies are attracting significant investments from investors across the globe. In fact, over 44% of the startups from the Brigade REAP portfolio have raised capital from marquee investors, 11 of which did so during the ongoing global pandemic. We are really looking forward to applying the lessons learnt over nine cohorts to this stellar group of incoming startups in Cohort 10,” said John Kuruvilla, Chief Mentor, Brigade REAP.

    Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, an ambitious initiative by the Government of India that promises 2 crore dwellings by 2022, has provided a massive impetus for innovation in this sector. As cost of technology continues to fall rapidly, increased technology adoption is poised to transform the affording housing sector. Specific focus areas include alternate building material, real time project monitoring, document management, FinTech and robotics.

    “This partnership marks an important milestone in the journey of Habitat’s Terwilliger Center in India. The housing deficit in India is huge and private sector partnerships are critical to providing affordable housing ventures the support they need to scale. This partnership with Brigade REAP reinforces that affordable housing is a high-impact sector for innovation and investment, with interest from adjacent sectors like PropTech and FinTech,” said Anoop Nambiar, Country Director for the Terwilliger Center in India. The Terwilliger Center supports innovative pilots, ventures and entrepreneurs, including through its ShelterTech platform, as part of its strategy to develop market-based solutions for affordable housing in India and around the world.

    “ShelterTech has supported over 60 innovative ventures globally with knowledge, network, connections and capital since 2017. Today, it’s the world’s leading platform for affordable housing innovation” said Lizan Kuster, global lead for ShelterTech. “This is our first collaboration to add affordable housing to a partner accelerator, leveraging ShelterTech’s expertise to support additional entrepreneurs” she added. Habitat for Humanity also invests in promising housing startups through its Shelter Venture Fund; two of the fund’s ten investments to date have been in India.