The future of retail and office space is up in the air, and proptech investors are optimistic – TechCrunch

The malls and grocery stores of the 20th century are being converted into industrial conveyor belts of goods and services traveling from the internet to your

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In addition to the numerous other reasons for real and unreal enthusiasm in the stock market, Softbank has been buying up huge shares of tech stocks, and propelling the market further upwards — until this information become clearer in the last few days and the market dropped below what had been surprising peaks.

Because the concentration of startup and entrepreneurial activity occurring in cities such as San Francisco and New York is on the decline, we can expect smaller metro areas throughout the U. S. to benefit from a surge in innovation, and the pandemic only stands to accelerate this trend, with many entrepreneurs and knowledge workers having already discovered the benefits of remote work and life outside of high-density areas.

While this will not alter our investment strategy, we’re spending time with the office landlords in our network considering alternative spaces for work (e. g. , flexible workplace solutions, flex passes, smaller and scattered HQs, cross-purpose retail and dynamic food venues), advances in collaboration technology and the ways in which physical assets can accommodate strong connectivity.

According to the commercial real estate services firm CBRE, since 2017 at least 59 projects in the U. S. have centered on converting 14 million square feet of retail space into 15. 5 million square feet of industrial space, and that trend is “absolutely going to continue,” says Matthew Walaszek, an associate director of industrial and logistics research at CBRE.

Speaking of the uncertain future of startup hub cities versus the world, the EC team took a different angle to the question this week, by considering the question of how geography-focused investors remain by today?

Editor-at-large Mike Butcher has also been getting at this question through a series of Extra Crunch surveys with investors across key European startup cities.

Maybe the future unicorns coming out of Europe won’t have massive headquarters in their home cities, but these companies will still be arising from the ether of local people who work in technology — so it won’t end up feeling that different?

To get more answers at the bleeding edge, Kirsten Korosec and your faithful correspondent did a fresh survey of 9 of the top investors in real estate and proptech (based on our TechCrunch List and other research).

As we’ve noted that some tech shares have taken lumps when their growth has underwhelmed investors, perhaps we’re seeing the entire SaaS sector see their growth expectations slip?

As the first batch of successful B2B founders are exiting their companies and inspiring other entrepreneurs, I expect more opportunities in the B2B space in the future.

I believe the startup ecosystem in Berlin will continue to grow and become even more diverse, as it attracts great talent from across the world and becomes a go-to “playground” for entrepreneurs.

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