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Startups to benefit

JLL backs ‘proptech’ ventures with $100m fund

Mihir KhanProperty agent JLL has created JLL Spark Global Venture Fund, which plans to invest up to $100 million in companies focused on technology aimed at the real estate sector.

It will focus on improving everything from real estate development and management to leasing and investing, while enhancing the experience of those who occupy it.

Mihir Shah (pictured), co-CEO at JLL Spark, said: “We know how hard it is to bring a new product to market, especially in an industry that has been slow to adopt new technology,” he said.

“That’s why our goal is to partner with entrepreneurs, and help them tap into the resources of JLL’s business lines so they can succeed in rapidly growing their companies while we also create value for JLL’s clients.”

The new fund will focus on seed and Series A investments, as well as select later stage rounds. Typical investment size will range from a few hundred thousand to several million dollars.

JLL Spark will direct its efforts to technology startups with products that can help JLL investor and occupier clients, or that can be used by JLL businesses to better deliver their services.

The fund is also interested in companies that are inventing new technology-enabled business models in traditional JLL service areas or those that will help expand its services to new client segments.

Christian Ulbrich, JLL’s Global CEO, said it would help bring the best “proptech” ideas to reality.

“It complements and expands our substantial ongoing investments in innovative, cutting-edge digital solutions.”

JLL has recently signed a 10 year lease at 7 Exchange Place in Edinburgh which places collaboration and tech at the forefront of its design.

A showpiece collaboration zone is the focal point of the new fit out – an informal space for in-house meetings, functions and interaction between departments. 

JLL’s lead director Alasdair Humphery, said: “All companies are looking for office space that sets them apart from their competitors and helps retain the best staff.

“With our new office we’ve placed a big focus on technology, but also on creating a space which makes people feel confident and inspired to work with each other.

“Our clients are central to our business, so it made perfect sense to integrate them into the design of our office and ensure they feel at home when they visit. This reflects what JLL is doing around the world and we are thrilled that the work is now complete.”

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