Wednesday, We Are Pop Up joins Barclays, Hive, DriveNow and Funding Circle as nominees for Market Gravity’s Corporate Entrepreneur Awards. We don’t spend much time thinking about awards, but being recognised for best new product and service gives us a reason for pause. We’ll be joining more than 400 of Europe’s most creative, disruptive and entrepreneurial business leaders at this year’s Market Gravity Corporate Entrepreneur Awards – the biggest yet – to enjoy a night celebrating innovation in business.
The innovation for which We Are Pop Up has been recognised? Fully automated real-estate transactions. This sophisticated engine sits on the back-end of the wearepopup.com website and powers every single booking between a space and brand. For the first time, brands and spaces can not only discover each other and connect directly, they can also pay and have legal protection as-standard, all included seamlessly in the process. Instead of 10-year leases, we’ve enabled 10-day leases. Or, ten-hour leases. Or a ten hour lease shared with ten brands.
“The acceleration of technology and digitisation has enabled a step change in a company’s ability to deliver innovations at a faster pace than ever before.” Market Gravity.
Renting a retail space could take weeks to transact and from the outside, retail property deals looked like a complex web of relationships built on exclusivity clauses and long-term contracts. Working collaboratively with leading real estate legal practice Hogan Lovells LLP, we standardised and digitised the property contract and created the world’s first fully automated commercial property transactions.
Our innovation connects brands directly with spaces, cutting out the middleman and all of the paperwork. Spaces set their own prices and terms. They rent for a day or a year. They can rent a full building, or just a shelf within their shop (an increasingly popular option under We Are Pop Up’s ShopShare) They review, accept, and decline brand requests on mobile phones.
Our rental agreement protects our customers’ bookings. It works by taking the information they provide us and auto-populating the agreement. Both the space or brand’s listing and any direct messages between them form an annex to the rental agreement.
People are literally building businesses on top of the We Are Pop Up platform. As a result, we have over 21,500 brands registered with We Are Pop Up, booking short term retail space for anything from a day to 6 months or more.
We’ve brought down the time it takes to book a retail space too – the record so far has been a 7 minute deal: A brand contacted one of London’s most popular fashion boutiques at 9:55AM and at 10:02AM had booked to pop up.
Brands and spaces can book 24/7 at times that suit them. 32% of brands and spaces book outside of office hours. Removing the contract negotiation totally changed the nature of landlord / tenant interactions – so much so that we changed our vocabulary from “tenants” and “landlords” to “brands” and “space owners” to reflect the people using our platform.
It turns out, by removing agents, lawyers, and contracts, not only did we remove delays and costs associated, we also changed the inherent nature of the interaction from adversarial to collaborative. And we’re only just getting started.