Interview with Richard Henshall, CEO at Recognyte: Transforming Real Estate Through AI Technology

Recognyte was founded by Resolute Asset Management who specialise in managing complex real estate situations for its clients; including banks, investors and private equity firms. The company was originally formed to help Resolute execute mandates involving extremely large numbers of granular assets, such as residential homes, small retail and industrial units, but where the data was incomplete and inaccurate.

To properly assess a portfolio and determine value creation strategies required remediation of the data, which to perform manually was extremely time consuming and prone to errors. Resolute needed a platform that combined process automation with data science to improve accuracy and save time. The lightbulb moment for the wider application for Recognyte came when one client asked to license our software.
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What problems does Recognyte solve and for who?

Bad data has long been a problem for commercial real estate. It’s often sitting in numerous sources, infrequently updated, and filled with gaps, making many data-led decisions near impossible. For the data to even be useful, it needs to be collated from a variety of internal and external sources and then remediated. Banks, investors and private equity firms rarely have the time and resources to manually sort through this data in order to make it useful, accurate and actionable.

We invest time upfront to remediate the data, and then further enrich that data using open source intelligence to create a detailed digital imprint of the assets. Various techniques are used, including natural language processing, machine learning and computer vision, which enable companies to have a deep understanding of their assets, including their values, market position, options for value creation, and value retention.

The other big challenge is knowing what to do with the data once collated. We have developed platforms, which create virtual data rooms and workflow tools, turning intelligence into actionable plans and outcomes.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

The business was largely in the development phase during the pandemic so we saw little impact. In fact, many team members already worked remotely anyway, so as lockdown started, transitioning the rest of the company to remote was relatively simple.

This year we have been focusing on implementing our go-to-market strategy, and with many clients back in the office, we’re finding it easier to service them. The real estate sector has historically been a slow adopter of technology, but the pandemic has accelerated the need for companies to figure out their digital strategy, which plays to our strengths.

What can we hope to see from Recognyte in the future?

Real estate is arguably the least transparent of all major investment classes because traditionally the data is hard to obtain. There has been a lot of information asymmetry between investors, but with increasing digitisation, availability of open-source information, and application of data science and artificial intelligence becoming more common, there is an enormous opportunity to unleash all the trapped value in real estate and reduce the imbalance of information.

Recognyte is already helping companies realise the value that is obtainable when you have the right data for your portfolio.