Swedish Startup Space

Former Swedish PM invests in VR-company to revolutionize housing hunting

Written by on November 12, 2015

Construction giant NCC it the first one out to try the technology – the company behind it are about to double their turnover.

Through listed investment company Pegroco, former head of state Göran Persson is lining up to become a new player on the steaming hot VR-segment. Göran Persson is chairman at Pegroco, which is currently the biggest shareholder in Diakrit with 41 percent of the shares.

In the shadow of the hyped up Swedish tech companies, Diakrit has had an impressive growth over the past years, and has on top of that become profitable.

“We will turn over about $22 million and make a profit of about $1.2 million”, Nordic countries manager Pontus Lindholm, says.

Diakrit’s niche is to serve real estate agents and construction companies with pictures of the homes which are out for sale. The goal is to use advanced technology to shorten the time between when a home is presented, to when it is sold. Diakrit have 300 contracted freelance photographers and drones which makes it potentially accessible for a buyer to get a clear view of the property without physically having to be at the address.

“We are behind most of the images on Hemnet so while you are wandering about the apartment through your computer screen, our solutions is what the seller has used most of the time”, Pontus Lindholm says.

But Diakrit is ready to take the company to the next level now, with technology from virtual reality. Basically, this means that Diakrit create a VR-app which makes it possible for you to inspect the apartment while it is still on the drawing board. During 2016, construction company NCC will offer all potential investors of newly built homes, this possibility. The technology is already in place and Breakit were allowed to test the app this week.

There is a very present feeling about it all, while you look around the spaciously designed apartments for sale. By focusing your eyes on – let us say the door to the bathroom – it opens, and you can get a view of the installments there.

“One problem with VR is that some get nauseous when they move while using the technology. To handle this problem, we have limited the possibility to move around in the prospect”, Pontus Lindholm says.

NCC is the first company that uses Diakrit’s solutions, but several other construction companies will follow. The next step is to view existing properties with the VR-app.

“There is a great potential. Imagine not having to commute across town on Sundays to see an apartment. Instead, you can sit at home and sift through the available apartments”, Pontus Lindholm says.

To use Diakrit’s service, you need a pair of VR-glasses and price on these are getting lower by the minute.

“When I tried this service a few years ago, a studio requiring tens of thousands of dollars was required to be hired. But Googles own VR-glasses, for instance, costs down to some $10-15”, Pontus Lindholm says.

Among the owners of Diakrit, other than investment company Pegroco and SEB’s venture capital branch SEB Ventures, are founders Dick Karlsson and Fredrik Bergman, with management. Up until today, some $10 million have been pumped into, among other things, tech development and by that the company is also entering a phase where they want to grow internationally on a serious level.

“The Nordic countries have worked, sort of as a test market and these are the countries where we have 80 percent of our turnover. We are launching globally now, and within two to three years, the goal is set on half of our sales being outside the Nordic countries”, Pontus Lindholm says. And he is calculating that turnover in 2017 will rise up to $48 million.

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