Spacemaker is a cloud-based AI software empowering architects, real-estate developers, and urban planners. Through data-driven processes, their technology makes it possible to collaborate, analyze, design, and optimize real estate sites in minutes or days instead of weeks or months. With the objective of becoming the world’s number one player in the prospecting and planning of real estate and commercial developments, Spacemaker chose Paris Region as the base for its French operations. The main reasons for it being its attractive talent pool, customer networks, and start-up ecosystem. We spoke with Jean-Baptiste Watine, Director of Business Development (France) and Maria Dantz, Head of Communications and Marketing, to find out more about the company.
Paris Region –a well-connected and dynamic start-up hub
Spacemaker software creates the optimal proposal for building sites based on physical data, site constraints, regulations, and local preferences. The company fundamentally believes that there is a better way to design cities and communities that can stand the test of time. They offer the possibility to include sustainability as a priority in the construction of new residential buildings right from the beginning. Due to its focus on the best outcomes, their data-driven process lowers risks and accelerates projects while remaining more cost-efficient. This allows for the design of higher-quality homes and neighborhoods.
Spacemaker is currently present in seven different countries and on its way to expand to another three markets in Europe just this year. We asked Jean-Baptiste and Maria why Paris Region was chosen as their base, as they are expanding into the French market. “It’s quite easy to find attractive hires for all kinds of positions - management, sales and business development, customer success, data scientists, etc.,” they said. “Paris Region has a well-connected public transport network, which is very valuable for a company starting in a new country. It houses a large percentage of our customers and has an incredible network of other innovative start-ups.” When Spacemaker thought about expanding outside of the Nordic borders, France and Paris Region quickly became the first choice. “Compared to other places in France, Paris Region was the most convenient for us, as our main customers are real estate developers and architects, and most of their head offices are in Paris.”
Innovation and sustainability: at the heart of real estate transformation in Paris Region
Indeed, the real estate market in Paris Region is number one in the world and almost twice the size of the markets in London (€16bn) and New York (€15.7bn). Ambitious new projects are underway, one of which is the Grand Paris Express, a public transport project which will create four new automatic metro lines around Paris and extend two existing lines. This will have a tremendous impact on the neighborhoods it will connect, resulting in 186 urban development projects (to be completed by 2025) in the 35 districts surrounding the Grand Paris Express stations.
Innovation and ecology are at the heart of real estate transformation in Paris Region
Improving the quality of everyday life for the residents of the Region is paramount to new real estate developments. Since 2016, the region has indeed been investing more than €140M in 100 innovative and ecological neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are developed in a way that promotes sustainable, carbon-free urban planning in the pursuit of a more breathable, greener, cleaner, and circular region.
On the issue of ecology, Spacemaker is committed to meeting the UN’s 11th Sustainable Development Goal of providing a high living quality and sustainable urban environments. Over the next 30 years, the world will face a "triad" of challenges: rapid population growth, urbanization, and climate change. Cities would need to accommodate an increase of more than 2.5 billion people, and they are nowhere near ready for this challenge. At the same time, 40% of carbon emissions come from buildings, and on a global scale, their demand for energy continues to grow. Spacemaker plans to strike a balance between the reduction of carbon emissions and the urgent need to build higher, denser, and faster than ever before. Their mission is to provide high-quality, sustainable living environments in the face of climate change.
A plethora of business opportunities despite uncertain times
When it comes to change and transformation, the biggest adjustment faced by companies worldwide in recent times has been the Covid-19 crisis. While the pandemic provided some unexpected circumstances at first, Spacemaker was able to overcome the challenges and improve their operations. “Covid-19 has had mixed effects on us. On the negative side, most of our clients completely stopped their activities for two months last spring, when we had just entered the market. That, of course, meant a much slower start for our French activities than expected, yet we still managed to sign quite a few contracts with top real estate developers,” explained Jean-Baptiste and Maria. “On the bright side, remote working became the norm, dramatically accelerating digital transformation and requiring digital tools that would facilitate remote collaboration. Spacemaker is a collaborative digital platform, and it has now become an essential tool for many of our clients –particularly architects and developers –to continue conducting their business.” Although Spacemaker entered the French market amid a health crisis, they were able to find support and meet their business development objectives. “Choose Paris Region was very useful in connecting us with relevant stakeholders working in the region as well as potential partners,” said Jean-Baptiste. “They also helped us navigate through the different financial grants we were eligible to apply for.” As a young company that has not only survived but thrived in a new market, we asked them about their impression of the Paris Region. Their answer? It is “attractive, innovative, and buzzing!
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