Dubai-based Silkhaus is a PropTech startup that describes itself as a “technology-first hospitality brand”. The company aims to offer immersive nomadic experiences by “providing business and leisure travelers with a home away from home” and, as the name suggests, convert tedious planning into an experience that’s as smooth as silk.
For readers unfamiliar with the term, PropTech is the application of technology in the real estate sector. It encompasses everything from property management and Airbnb-style bookings to construction and analytics, with features usually accessed through a mobile app.
The global PropTech market value is projected to grow from $18.2 to $86.5 billion by 2032 — a compound annual rate of about 17% — and is primarily driven by nomadic professionals who are happy to relocate for career purposes.
As for Silkhaus, the startup was conceived by strategy consultant Aahan Bhojani, who noticed several issues with his own corporate travel experiences. He now strives to ensure others won’t experience the same frustrations.
“I realized there was something broken about the long-stay travel experience, and finding suitable long-term accommodation options on online travel aggregators was like pulling a needle out of a haystack […] aside from investors purchasing real estate, we have seen a growing interest in the resident population seeking to reside in the UAE. The need for a ‘landing pad’ to accommodate incoming audiences has never been stronger,” says Aahan Bhojani, founder and CEO of Silkhaus.
Despite a gradually worsening global market, Silkhaus was still able to raise $7.75 million in a seed funding round last month, and is well placed to boost its portfolio of investors and continue with a medium-term expansion strategy.
Over the last few years, big data and cloud technology have transformed consumer experiences in the property sector, positively affecting property owners, tenants, landlords, and brokers alike. Startups like Silkhaus look set to continue this trend, with plans in the works to expand to cities across the Middle East and eventually into South and South-East Asia.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.