The UK-based startup Orbital Witness just closed a €3.64 million seed funding round led by LocalGlobe and Outward VC with participation from previous investors like Seedcamp and JLL Spark. This investment round brings Orbital Witness’s total funding to about €5 million.
Real estate is the world’s largest asset class valued at over $238 trillion. Yet recording and transacting real estate has been pretty much the same process for 150 years. The due diligence process is a significant bottleneck in real estate transactions, with 40% of buyers and sellers experiencing delays due to the process and costing up to 1% of overall transaction fees. The challenge of due diligence is compounded in the commercial real estate arena by rather complex, high value assets and portfolio deals.
Founded in 2017 and launched in 2018, Orbital Witness set out to modernise and accelerate the legal due diligence process with a platform to access and organise property information from HM Land Registry and local authorities, facilitate quick document review and flag risks automatically to lawyers and underwriters.
Several prominent law firms and in-house legal teams of insurance companies already use Orbital Witness as a legal risk assessment platform for commercial property transactions, reducing time and costs, while bringing efficiencies and new insights to the process.
Will Pearce, Co-founder and COO at Orbital Witness, explained: “We’ve built a system for clients to access documents from numerous important sources and provide an easy way to provide risk assessment and insights quickly. Now, we’re using that expertise and technology to reimagine property and land risk for today, to make transacting real estate less time-consuming, arduous and inefficient.”
With the fresh capital from its latest funding round, Orbital Witness will be creating a universal risk rating for property and land similar to a credit check to provide a high-level view of property risk to all parties. Using machine learning technology and reinforcement learning techniques, Orbital Witness has developed a sophisticated understanding of real estate and property risk that it is now applying across commercial real estate properties in the UK.
Edmond Boulle, Co-founder and CEO at Orbital Witness, stated: “Orbital Witness imagines a world where real estate and property issues are no longer hidden behind mounds of deeds and documents. Our goal is to simplify the complexities of the current process and bring greater transparency to the world’s largest asset class. With this new funding, we’re able to accelerate towards our vision of a universal risk rating, similar to a credit check, that provides an early warning system for property professionals.”
Today, Orbital Witness employs fifteen people based in London, and the young company is now recruiting and hiring ambitious people for its team for its next stage of growth. Orbital Witness aims to double the team in the next year across product, technology, data science, customer success and marketing to continue its growth and establish new product categories.