Innovative Lift Maintenance Solution Expands to UK
French PropTech company WeMaintain has launched its proprietary lift maintenance platform and service in London.
Established in 2017, the Paris-based company provides building managers with lift maintenance services which combine the technical skill of lift engineers and agility, and predictive power, of its platform.
The lift maintenance market which is currently dominated by four major players is estimated to be worth US $35 billion annually.
Having radically transformed the Parisian lift maintenance market, WeMaintain is being supported with its UK launch by several existing clients, including ENGIE Solutions, BNP Paribas Real Estate and Sodexo – as well as local players, such as L&Q, Westbury Residential, Business Design Centre (Islington) and Meadow Partners.
A fast-growing market facing strong structural and contextual issues
Now estimated at £1.2 billion, the lift and escalator maintenance market in the UK is growing steadily (+6.5 per cent year-on-year). However, in a sector dominated by Otis, Schindler, Kone and ThyssenKrupp, building managers have historically been underserved.
Jade Francine, co-founder and COO of WeMaintain, explains: “There is a lack of communication and trust in the sector. Our aim is to change that by bringing transparency and a customer-first approach to the lift maintenance market.”
London has nearly 550 construction projects for buildings over 20 storeys tall—a record number—planned in the coming years. This upward trend implies the presence of a large number of lifts—sometimes dozens for a single building—and high usage of them, making them a major cost item and concern for building managers.
WeMaintain’s launch in the capital this month coincides with an ongoing discussion around how best to accommodate a radically changing landscape.
Now, the trend away from leased offices to more flexible work spaces has forced property owners to come up with new ways to make their buildings more exciting places to work. Benoit Dupont, Co-founder and CEO of WeMaintain, explained “Like Paris, London is a dense metropolis where there is a lot of competition and customer expectations are high. This makes it an ideal place to launch and introduce WeMaintain’s model.”
A model aiming to radically transform the sector
The company says its model gives its team of engineers, as those working on the ground, autonomy, ownership and sophisticated technology for the properties in which they work to create the very best user experience.
It makes use of state-of-the-art technology to capture key data on the building, such as traffic analysis, most frequently used floors and peak traffic, through IoT devices so property owners can use their space in more intelligent ways and make more informed investment decisions.
It takes care of the invisible but essential operations of a building, aiming to eliminate friction points and improve safety.
Led by Tom Harmsworth, former Service Delivery Manager at Otis and co-founder of his own lift company, the WeMaintain team in the UK aims to demonstrate the relevance and scalability of its model. Tom Harmsworth made the choice to recruit members with strong experience, such as Gareth Hughes, previously a Director at Schindler.
“I am excited to join WeMaintain and lead its first international growth in London, a market in which customers have high expectations and are in search of innovation,” says Harmsworth. “As a tech company we have been able to set up our operation and utilise digital tools so that, even with the unfortunate and ongoing pandemic, we are able to collaborate fully with the team in Paris. In this respect, we are very fortunate.”