It’s no secret that Great Britain and Scandinavia have a special connection. If you walk into any home in the UK, it’s likely that you’ll be greeted by some hygge-inspired ambience or a Nordic brand or two. From Lego to Ikea, Britons can’t get enough of the stylish, yet functional nature of Scandinavian design.
As we bring our Danish company Hococo to the UK for the very first time, we’ve got our sights set on becoming the next beloved Nordic brand to transform British homes.
Let’s start with that second question. Put simply, it’s been a really exciting past 12 months for Hococo. In 2021 we had the opportunity to start working together with an exciting list of partners including one of the most influential property developers in the Nordics, NREP. Since then our revenues have increased by 364%. Customer growth has increased by 233%. The number of units powered by our technology has grown by 490%. In January, we completed a seed funding round totaling $2.7 million.
Much of that growth has been a result of the huge strides we have made in product development. We’ve launched new features like our payments and community modules, as well as refined existing features, based on our experience in the Nordics market. Denmark has been the ideal sandbox for us to create, develop, improve and grow.
In short, our funding, customer growth and product development mean we’re now in a great position to bring the Hococo experience to new markets; which brings us neatly on to the next question: why the UK exactly?
The housing market is a hot topic in the UK right now. According to Knight Frank, investment in the UK residential market is expected to hit a record £16.5bn in 2022, up from £10.2bn invested into the asset class last year. Build-to-rent, student property and senior housing investment in particular, have all risen significantly.
However, despite the volume of investment being pumped into the UK residential market, the sector still struggles with an acute lack of customer centricity. As other traditional industries like transport and banking have become more and more consumerised and customer focused - thanks to the implementation of technology - today’s renters and buyers now expect the same level of service when it comes to housing and accommodation. If they don’t get it, they’ll look elsewhere. The pressure is on the UK residential market to meet these elevated customer expectations.
Owners and operators also need to adapt to a post-COVID landscape. With more and more people working from home (at least a part of the week), housing has become more than just a place to eat, relax and rest your head. It is now a working environment. Big residential owners and operators need to tailor their service to this new requirement.
But there’s more. The growing understanding of mental health has also revealed the importance of community and relationships. Alongside, COVID-19, an increasing focus on wellbeing has led to a greater desire to be connected to those around us - more than simply on social media. Again, that has huge implications for the UK’s residential market.
The problem is that much of the industry is ill-equipped to meet these challenges (and opportunities). Communications channels amongst tenants themselves, and particularly between tenants and owners / operators is still very traditional - face-to-face, over email or phone. This impersonal communication makes it impossible for operators to truly understand the needs of their tenants, build community, or offer new services.
From student accommodation, to BTR, to senior housing, to large residential developments, solving these needs is the reason why we are entering the UK market. Our platform helps owners and operators to be truly customer-centric, build community, create more personalised experiences, and champion better wellbeing. Ultimately, for UK owners and operators, we’re here to help them drive loyalty to their brand and buildings, as they’re empowered with the tools to work leaner, smarter and more efficiently, and create thriving, happy communities.
It’s a big vision and like our fellow Danes at Lego, we’ll be building our UK presence block by block. But, we’re excited about the prospect of bringing some much-needed Danish hygge to the UK residential market over the course of 2022 and beyond. If you want to find out more about how we can help you to create stickier, more appealing buildings, chat with our team: firstname.lastname@example.org