Property consultant JLL India today launched a new vertical to invest in technology start-ups in the real estate sector, making first such investment in Foyr.com.
JLL did not disclose the amount invested in Foyr.com — a technology platform for visualising real estate space. But it expects three more investments this year and 10-15 in the next 12-18 months.
Foyr’s technology allows developers to market their developments and also customisation of interiors on the fly.
The new independent real estate technology investment vertical will see infusion in start-ups or growth-stage companies developing innovative and disruptive technology solutions specific to the real estate sector, JLL said in a statement.
“The purpose of this vertical is to invest into early-stage companies – or start-ups – which can potentially disrupt the real estate business with brand-new thinking, backed by sound, workable technology,” JLL India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said.
With this investment vertical, JLL has its sights on Geographic Information Systems, visualisation and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, sustainable energy, water efficiency, smart commercial buildings, smart city technology applications, property management technologies, data analytics and home automation.
This initiative is spearheaded by Anuj Nangpal, a real estate industry veteran and specialist in M&A, private equity, corporate advisory and investment banking.
As Head – JLL India Real Estate Technology Ventures, he will work closely with various business lines of JLL and financial partners to deploy seed capital into the identified firms.
“A strategic partnership with JLL will allow these companies an opportunity to scale up as well as explore the application of the technologies in global markets,” Nangpal said.
This will be an independent investment entity which will focus on enhancing the value of its equity holdings in the target firms.
JLL will also explore the potential of working with private equity funds and financial institutions to make even larger investments, if needed.
“Typically, an early-stage company needs anything between USD 1,00,000 to USD 2 million to go from proof-of-concept to growth in a period of around 12-18 months,” said Nangpal.
“JLL’s proprietary capital, along with its strategic partners, will finance this cycle. In the first 12-18 months, we plan to invest in approximately 10-15 such early-stage companies. Given the firm’s very strong balance sheet, there is limitless scope for such investments.”
The investment vertical expects to announce three further investments before the end of 2016.