10 BULGARIAN TECH ENTREPRENEURS TALK: PART 3
WHAT DO YOU FORECAST TO CHANGE IN 2021 AS A RESULT FROM COVID-19?
Interviews with 10 Bulgarian tech entrepreneurs which were part of the Bulgarian channel on RE:Connect 1.0 on 07 January 2021. The interviews are conducted by Sylvia Pavlova MBA CMC, Founder PropTech Bulgaria and Eng. Adriana Taskova, PhD
PROPTECH | Kamen Kaludov, Founder & CEO WeboBook
My vision for 2021 is that the standard we introduced and spread will become mandatory for any broker who wants to remain on the market. We have subscribers from all over the world, and they submit their feedback daily. Observing very closely the process, and what end users share with us, I think that very, very soon we will go beyond the borders of applying virtual walks in Real Estate only.
HEALTHTECH | Ivan Yosifov, Founder & CEO Naicoms
What happened is going to stay. Many people realised that they are able to do a lot of things which they thought impossible to do or very difficult to achieve. As I said before, Telemedicine exists for decades. We were the one who has the technology made in a very easy way for the end user. Now when they tested it during the pandemic, they develop the necessary habit to use it. They like it and see its benefits. When someone has a habit to do something, it is very difficult to change it. So, it is a good trend for us. One of the issues which we have in our field is legislation. In Bulgaria the process is very slow. I see that some Western countries introduce regulations, guidelines how to work in this domain. A trend I anticipate in next few years is namely to have better guidelines, regulations, directives to apply technologies in this particular area. I expect that countries will be more involved in the process and start promoting it, because everyone knows that such solutions are the future. They solve so many problems which cannot be solved that easy in any other way. Let’s hope that only the good things which happened are going to stay.
PROPTECH & TOURISM TECH | Boris Pavlov, Founder Flat Manager
I love all forecasts for post-Covid times. I would say that the first thing when we start recovering, we will have shorter trips by car, people are going to keep on staying at more secluded, individual places. Short-term rental like Airbnb and the likes, they are going to get better within 2021. I expect that short-term rental market will recover this year quite rapidly, up to 80% or 90 %. Worldwide, there is a short supply with short-term rental appartments as many players exited the market. People who owned and rent Airbnb properties before, rent them for the long term now. I expect that people who stay in the market to benefit greatly starting from the spring. For hotels, it will take a while because you need business travellers to start travelling again. The whole conference tourism needs to recover, and that’s going to take a while.
PROPTECH | Lyubomir Yanchev, CEO MClimate
Now IoT is going rapidly. Not only because of the pandemic. Not only because people stay more at home. But because time has come. The hardware for the devices has become cheaper and cheaper, so it is more affordable to buy such a device.
The awareness of the people has increased, so they proactively want to automate their life, they want to know how much they will pay for electricity, gas, etc. So the trend for Smart Home is going up and up. The same is valid also for Smart Buildings, as property develpers are trying to figure out how to get all those people back into the buildings, and make them feel comfortable to stay in the office environment. And in the meantime, they need data to see what is happening inside the building – how many people are there, are they staying at a social distance, are they complying with these social rules. In such a way they want to get more data alongside their investment in the building. I forecast that both Smart Home, and Smart Building technologies will be on a rise, definitely.
Do you think that IoT can be combined with other technologies such as AI in a way to enhance one another? It there such a trend?
Definitely. Prior to 2020, all the intelligence was on the Cloud. Right now, the trends that I see are that the whole intelligence (AI) is actually transferred on the device. This way the device doesn’t need to send a lot of data meaning that there’s no need for the device to be connected by a cable or WiFi. This means that it can be better operated. A lot of operation can be done on the device. The device learns your preferences, rather than all the data to be operated by the Cloud, and the Cloud to learn your preferences. Now it is easier.
PROPTECH | Mitko Tsonev, CEO and Founder Valkrea.House
My forecasts are similar. This is a phenomenon which is just going to grow. The main question is whether it will be user-driven or property-developers-driven. And this is a matter of who wants to take the risk and make the investment. I would say that buildings in the future either have such technologies by default, or be Smart Home ready for the residents. I belive this is just going to grow more and more unless there is not an unexpected economic factor which we cannot foresee right now.
PROPTECH | Georgi Demirev, Co-Founder appraiser.ai & оцениме.бг
When we talk about banks which are our majour clients, I expect to see further digitilization of mortage process. But maybe, it will take more time than just the ongoing year.
When we talk with banks both in Bulgaria and abroad, all of them have a common strategic vision and priorities. They all say, ‘We want to have a completely digital mortgage experience: application, approval, and dispersement of the credit. All should be done online, with no interaction with a human agent, no interaction with a bank branch.’
HEALTHTECH | Georgi Kadrev, CEO Kelvin.Health & Imagga
I believe that a lot more will go to Telemedicine and Preventive Medicine, and the society itself will push to in that direction. We talk a lot in the context of Covid, and these circumstances were very favourable for us at Kelvin.Health. But we figured out that there a lot other conditions which relate to inflammation. It is on a side note, but let’s take breast cancer as one of them. We are in a very active collaboration along the second pillar of ML – data, to collect quality data about breast cancer in its different stages, about a kind of a ‘pre-cancer’ status. This is not a medical term but let’s use it. We collect a lot of data about various types of medical conditions before they happen, or before they worsen.
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