MTR Lab to Help French PropTech Expand in APAC

French start-up WeMaintain is “thrilled” to leverage the expertise and support of MTR Lab, says CEO Benoit Dupont
Staff Reporter | Hong Kong, France | PropTech

Hong Kong-based MTR Lab has invested in French proptech company WeMaintain to support its expansion in the Hong Kong and Asia Pacific markets. WeMaintain’s proprietary technology provides asset owners and operators with real-time information that helps them reduce their costs and energy consumption and improve the performance of their equipment.

The investment by the subsidiary of Hong Kong’s railway operator will allow WeMaintain to improve the quality of lift and escalator maintenance with Internet of Things (IoT) technology and to power greener city development across Asia-Pacific, according to a joint statement. MTR Lab did not disclose the size of its investment.

“WeMaintain’s vision to advance how people and technology come together to manage buildings, and its efforts in fostering more efficient, predictive and sustainable infrastructure solutions, strongly align with MTR Lab’s goal of promoting smart-city development,” said Michael Chan, MTR Lab’s managing director. “By supporting the company’s expansion and enabling it to extend its industry-leading maintenance solutions across borders, we hope to contribute to the development and adoption of smart-city solutions in Asia-Pacific and help improve the region’s building operations sector in an efficient and sustainable way.”

WeMaintain is MTR Lab’s first foray into investing in an overseas start-up. The investment aligns with MTR Lab’s focus on smart-city technology and sustainability, as well as the Hong Kong government’s policy direction of encouraging the introduction of smart technologies in housing estate management, including through the digitalisation of lift maintenance and building operations, the joint statement said.

‘Asia is Central to Our Global Strategy’

The investment by MTR Lab will accelerate WeMaintain’s development and growth in high-potential Asia-Pacific markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore, where it established an operational base in 2021, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. “Asia is central to our global strategy, and we’re thrilled to leverage the expertise and support of MTR Lab, as we expand operations across the region,” said Benoit Dupont, WeMaintain’s co-founder and CEO.

Founded in France in 2017, WeMaintain has a presence in its home country, the United Kingdom and Singapore, and has more than 2,500 buildings in its maintenance portfolio. Its IoT-based solutions have achieved energy savings of 30 per cent on average per year in the case of frequently used lifts, and a 20 per cent reduction in breakdowns at high-density sites.

WeMaintain’s existing clients include SNCF, France’s national railway company, and Paris-headquartered transport company Keolis, and it employs more than 200 people globally. Since its launch, the proptech start-up has raised more than €40 million ($43.1 million) from investors that include MTR Lab, French investment firm Eurazeo, venture-capital firm Red River West and French sovereign wealth fund Bpifrance. It will use the proceeds to strengthen its research and development efforts, enhance product development in both software and hardware, and expand in Asia-Pacific, according to the statement.

“Substantial investments have been made in data science and IoT, with rigorous training of our algorithmic models to proficiently recognise and identify pertinent information,” said WeMaintain’s Dupont. “Armed with these capabilities, our goal is to revolutionise the building operations sector, not only in Europe but worldwide.”

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