WeMaintain buys property tech start-up Shokly, takes steps to smart building - The EE

WeMaintain buys property tech start-up Shokly, takes steps to smart building

WeMaintain, a provider in the lift market, has acquired French property technology start-up Shokly. The latter’s solution has, says WeMaintain, “revolutionised fire alarm maintenance and management, to increase its presence in the smart buildings sector”.

WeMaintain, which combines technology and technical expertise, was set up to address a critical area of building operations lift maintenance. It quickly moved to resolve the most pressing industry problems one by one low quality of service, poor treatment of engineers, lack of innovation and lack of information and data gathered and shared with building owners and facilities managers.

The company’s model entails giving engineers and those on the ground autonomy and sophisticated technology, so they can create the best user experience. They also deploy Internet of Things (IoT) sensors on key equipment. Their business model has been praised by customers in Paris and London as they get real-time data and information on their buildings that customers previously could not access. 

Having established a transformative new approach to lift maintenance in Paris and London, WeMaintain now aims to address the problems that exist elsewhere in building operations. Shokly’s approach has been shown to be similarly inventive and ambitious.

With Shokly, fire alarm system maintenance is automated and more reliable thanks to a module that connects the central unit with the mobile app used by the engineers. At the same time, Shokly has also developed IoT sensors for the day-to-day management of fire alarm systems. This lets customers monitor their equipment, and potential malfunctions, remotely and in real time.

This acquisition creates multiple synergies. For WeMaintain, this union will result in the implementation of a data lake that is enriched in real time thanks to the additional IoT sensors deployed in buildings and in the field, with data collected via the engineers’ mobile applications.

On the customer side, managers and building owners will benefit from information that provides much more detailed knowledge of their buildings, as well as from the optimised service on which WeMaintain has built its reputation.

Benoit Dupont, CEO and co-founder of WeMaintain, says Shokly was a ‘natural partner’ for WeMaintain. ”Most Proptech players tackle the problem from the wrong side: first they conceive a data platform, before coping with data collection, and finally consider analysis of this data.

”WeMaintain and Shokly have both started from their field expertise in order to identify and collect adequate data, provide a high quality service and enable a broader long term data strategy.

”In fact, Shokly has created technology just like WeMaintain, that is not bound to a specific manufacturer, like traditional industrial players do,” says Dupont. “We find ourselves with an agnostic technology, easy to deploy and that truly brings value to the client. Just like WeMaintain can deploy its IoT solution on all types of lifts, Shokly can install its solution on all brands and models of fire alarm systems.”

Jade Francine, Benoit Dupon, Tristan Foureur

In a sector dominated by a small number of historical players, lack of competition and poor adoption of digital tools means there are many opportunities for value creation.

Through the creation and deployment of sophisticated technology, as well as recruitment of highly skilled engineers looking for a better way of working, WeMaintain is able to manage the usually invisible operations of regulated maintenance in a way which better serves all stakeholders within commercial real estate.

Olivier Comets, founder of Shokly says, “The founding teams of both our companies are aligned: we share values and an ambition to transform the space in which we operate. The historic approach to building operations does not serve customers and this has real consequences. Over 70% of companies that have a fire in one of their buildings close down in the following months.

“We look forward to becoming a building operation provider that fully leverages people, tech and data. We want to raise the bar in our industry. We can provide customers with a single point of contact that can take care of their building maintenance needs and one dashboard to access all the data and insight we extract from their buildings,“ Comets adds.

WeMaintain, which launched in London last year, aims to drive the trend towards smart buildings by creating a better relationship between the built environment and its occupants. Its technology captures rich data from the building bringing transparency and a customer-first approach to the market.

Its launch in London last year was supported by existing clients, including BNP Paribas Real Estate, Allianz Real Estate, CBRE, Savills as well as local players, such as L&Q, Business Design Centre and Meadow Partners.

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