BENGALURU | MUMBAI: Property consultancy JLL India has launched an independent vertical to make strategic investments in startups that are developing disruptive technology solutions for the real estate sector. “The purpose of this vertical is to invest in early-stage companies, or startups, which can potentially disrupt the real estate business with brand-new thinking, backed by sound, workable technology,” said Anuj Puri, chairman of JLL India.
The newly-formed real estate technology investment entity recently concluded its maiden investment — in Foyr.com, a technology platform for visualising real estate spaces. Foyr’s patent-pending technology offers developers the ability to market their developments and allows customisation of interiors on the fly.
“Foyr’s unique technology has global appeal and the advancements they have made in augmented reality and visualisation reality are globally competitive and scalable,” said Puri. The new vertical expects to announce three more investments before the end of 2016.
Puri said JLL has its eyes trained on blockchain technologies, geographic information systems, visualisation and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, sustainable energy, smart commercial buildings, smart city tech applications, property management technologies, data analytics, home automation and – on a broader level — the Internet of things.
Typically, an early-stage company needs anything between $100,000 and $2 million to go from proof-of-concept to growth in a period of 12-18 months.
“JLL’s proprietary capital, along with its strategic partners, will finance this cycle. In the first 12-18 months, we plan to invest in 10-15 such early- stage companies. Given the firm’s very strong balance sheet, there is limitless scope for such investments,” said Anuj Nangpal, who will head the new business. Nangpal, a real estate industry veteran is a specialist in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate advisory and investment banking.
As head of JLL India Real Estate Technology Ventures, he will have strategic oversight of the entity and will work closely with JLL’s various business lines and financial partners to deploy seed capital into identified firms. Nangpal said he is confident of concluding three more transactions by end of December.
“We are also looking at 7-8 proposals in addition to these. The deal pipeline is good as it’s a very robust industry and technology adaption at global level in real estate is moving at a faster pace,” Nangpal said. “A strategic partnership with JLL will allow these companies an opportunity to scale as well as explore the application of the technologies in global markets.”
JLL India Real Estate Technology Ventures will also explore the potential of working with private equity funds and financial institutions to make larger investments.
Credits ET Realty