JLL launches $100 million (£75 million) global venture fund

JLL has launched a new $100 million (£75 million) global venture fund to invest in companies pioneering the use of technology in the real estate sector

US professional services company JLL has launched a new $100 million (£75 million) global venture fund which will invest in companies pioneering the use of technology in the real estate sector.

The launch comes amid another new fund amid, Dot, described as the “containerisation” of real estate, with new technologies and techniques allowing full acquisitions to be bundled into unique structures at the click of a button.

The JLL Spark Global Venture Fund will focus on companies leveraging technology to improve everything from real estate development and management to leasing and investing, while enhancing the experience of those who occupy it.

JLL Spark’s co-CEO Mihir Shah said in a release that having been entrepreneurs themselves, it knows how hard it is to bring a new product to market, especially in an industry that has been slow to adopt new technology. That’s why its 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 JLL also creates value for its clients.

In the UK, the rapid rise of online-only estate agents has highlighted the extent to which the industry is ripe for disaggregation.

The UK-based Dot Fund is one of the latest, which allows registered users with a 30 percent deposit to hand, to buy property with the click of a button.

On suggesting a property acquisition the fund crunches the data to assess yield, demand and value and arrive at an estimated cash flow. Buyers can then pay the deposit and hit a button. This moves each property to a “Dot Container” with the tax and ownership structure of a UK Limited Company but without any of the typical administration or compliance headaches.

The JLL Spark fund meanwhile 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.

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, the fund said.

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