2021 - Reflecting on a year of new growth, products and events.
Before I sign off the year with a few more mince pies I wanted to share a few thoughts on 2021 and the outlook for 2022. While there were challenges for us all over the last 12 months, it’s clear that at Plentific we took some big steps forward in our mission to become one of the world’s leading property management platforms, as not only did we secure funding from some of the world’s leading Proptech investors, we also delivered several successful product launches, significantly grew our team and expanded our client footprint in multiple areas.
A year of new growth.
When Emre and I embarked on the Plentific journey, we had big ambitions for the company and this year has been another great one on the road to realising them. Firstly, we secured $100m in Series C funding from leading investors such as Brookfield, Highland, AO Proptech and Target Global, which will allow us to make long-term investments that will ensure we deliver a sustainably market-leading proposition.
This funding and the hard work of all our team allowed us to double units under management to over 400,000 during the course of the year. On the marketplace front, we’ve onboarded over 2,000 contractors globally this year alone, ranging from sole traders to SMEs, and with well over 430,000 quotes received on our platform in 2021, it’s safe to say we’re providing employment opportunities to many thousands of tradespeople in local communities.
On the team front, we’ve had an incredible 17,000 applications this year and added 130 new joiners across our markets. I’m always impressed by the quality of talent we’re able to attract to Plentific and would highlight that we are still hiring! Please see our careers page for all our open opportunities – we’d love to speak to you if you think you could be a good fit.
Adding to these achievements, we’ve also had visits to our website from almost everywhere in the world this year, with 75% of visitors in 2021 not having visited the website in prior years, highlighting the pace of our growth. I’ll be pushing for full global coverage by the end of 2022!
Plentific website visits by country - 2021
A year of new products.
Our product reached new heights in 2021, with a range of exciting launches. Some highlights are listed below.
We launched our Advanced Analytics dashboard, which leverages a broad range of live and historical data to give users unparalleled flexibility and decision making abilities. Clients use the tool to analyse spend, cash flow, individual, team and contractor performance to drive significant operational improvements.
In keeping with our mission to offer users unparalleled flexibility, our platform now gives users a full ‘mixed economy’ solution: clients can now easily switch between dispatching work orders to their internal workforces, appointed contractors or through our marketplace to optimise performance across their repair and maintenance activities.
Moreover, we focused our efforts on another central tenet of ours - resident satisfaction. This year saw the launch of Plentific Resident Manager, which comes as a white-labelled solution and empowers residents and property managers to collaborate for faster issue resolution.
We also worked tirelessly this year to provide clients with a solution that emerged as a key issue as part of one of our PropertyLab sprints - that of voids management. One major London housing association, for example, has created around 100 voids projects on our platform in under three months as they seek to enhance yields by reducing turnaround times through more efficient voids management.
Beyond the wealth of launches around our core product we’re also working with some top academic talent as we ramp up efforts to incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) integration, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) into our current product lines. It truly is an exciting time for Proptech and we want to make sure we’re positioned at the cutting edge of R&D in the space.
And if you think the product team has been busy, here's a look at what our sales and marketing teams have been up to.
A year of events.
There was a buzz in the air like no other, as companies returned to in-person events this year. Our story was similar, but it spanned three geographies and dozens of events. Here's a glimpse at some of the events our teams attended - including Housing 2021 in the UK, CRETech in New York, Expo Real in Germany and more.
We also value events as a means to listen to feedback from clients and other market participants. For example, as part of our unique PropertyLab accelerator programme we held a number of valuable sessions on ESG with the goal of helping to prepare client portfolios for a more sustainable and equitable future. In the coming year, we’ll be putting on more PropertyLabs and working with globally-renowned sustainability consultants GlobeScan to develop industry-defining research to guide future strategies and inform future product development.
There were some challenges…
That’s not to say it was all easy. Every scale up has its challenges and Plentific is no different. For example, in the UK we’ve found it hard to hire as quickly as we wanted to and would ask the Government to make sure that there is increased support for fast growing businesses to hire exceptional talent internationally as well as in the UK.
We’ve also had to work non-stop on our product to make sure it delivers exceptional product market fit as we expand into new markets and sectors. And of course we’ve had to manage the myriad daily challenges of hyperfast growth - but dealing with them is what makes me want to get up in the morning!
What to expect in 2022.
As we’ve been thinking about our key priorities for the coming year, it’s clear that a number of key challenges will remain front of mind.
The day to day challenges of the pandemic from both a personal and business perspective will continue to drive uncertainty in all aspects of our daily lives but I for one very much hope we can return to some semblance of normality in 2022, not least as I can see the extraordinary value of seeing both clients and colleagues face to face regularly - there’s just so much you can do when you’re in the room with someone that you can’t on a Zoom call.
In addition, we see the impact of the changing macroeconomic environment every day at Plentific given the cost of labour and materials are heavily impacted by inflationary pressures. Our marketplace enables maximum price transparency and so provides strong price signals to both clients and contractors, who can use it to clear jobs at a fair market rate.
Otherwise, although we’ve come a long way, we still feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface in a lot of areas, which provides us with huge headroom for growth in 2022 across our three markets of the UK, Germany and the USA and means we’re very excited about where the year will take us.
All this growth will be supported by a range of product initiatives, with new developments on a range of features across our core modules well advanced. We are also looking forward to welcoming a new UK acquisition to the Plentific family imminently - watch this space for further details and to keep up-to-date with all our news, product releases and what’s happening in the wider industry more broadly in 2022, sign up to The Edit, our weekly newsletter, here: https://www.plentific.com/client/the-edit.
As we head into 2022, I want to thank all of our clients, partners and contractors for making the year a success, despite the challenges. And last but certainly not least I’d like to thank the Plentific team - none of this would be possible without you.
Wishing you a wonderful festive season and Happy New Year from the whole team at Plentific.