U.S’s JLL Spark Announces US$100M Global Venture Funds

Christian Ulbrich, JLL's Global CEO - Photo by JLL

SINGAPORE (TheInsiderStories) – JLL Spark, a division of U.S-based property research company JLL (NYSE: JLL), announces the creation of JLL Spark Global Venture Fund to accelerate its leadership position in digital real estate services, the company said on May 6.

The new entity plans to invest up to US$100 million in companies focused on leveraging technology to improve everything from real estate development and management to leasing and investing, while enhancing the experience of those who occupy it.

It said, the fund will help entrepreneurs and their companies by connecting them with JLL’s business lines and clients for insightful feedback and product distribution.

“Creating this $100 million venture fund through JLL Spark allows us to continue to lead the real estate industry in bringing the best proptech ideas to reality,” says Christian Ulbrich, JLL’s Global CEO.

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.

He continued, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Mihir Shah and Yishai Lerner have successful track records building and investing in tech companies will lead JLL Spark and its fund.

“Asia Pacific is home to the world’s leading smart cities, many of which are powered by tech-enabled real estate tools. JLL is committed to cultivating next-generation proptech start-ups and promoting Asia Pacific as a hub of technology innovation for real estate, and JLL Spark Global Venture Fund is an extension of that goal,” says Mihir Shah, Co-CEO at JLL Spark.

Furthermore he said, the fund gives them the unparalleled opportunity to partner with local and global entrepreneurs who can utilise the resources of JLL’s business lines to rapidly grow their companies while creating value for JLL’s clients.

So far, JLL has invested as limited partners in other funds joined Navitas Capital and Metaprop. Shah stated, “We will continue to partner with Navitas and Metaprop and invest in promising companies together. Our focus will be on seed and Series A investments, as well as select later stage rounds.”  

From left to right, Yishai Lerner (co-CEO of JLL Spark), Heath Silverman (CEO and co-founder of Stessa), Jonah Schwartz (CTO and co-founder of Stessa), and Mihir Shah (co-CEO of JLL Spark)

Last March, JLL Spark has announced its acquisition of Stessa, a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based real estate technology platform that allows investors in income properties to easily and cost-effectively track, manage and communicate the performance of their portfolios. This is the first strategic acquisition by JLL Spark since its inception and delivers on its mission to transform the real estate industry through technology-based innovation.

Stessa has been in beta for the past year testing its product with a select group of early customers representing nearly half a billion dollars in income properties. Interested real estate investors can sign up at Stessa.com for Stessa’s next generation release, which will be available soon.

According to a recent report by JLL and Tech in Asia, proptech start-ups in Asia Pacific are outpacing their counterparts in Europe and the United States with 179 of them raising around $4.8 billion in funding between 2013 and mid-2017, over 60 percent of the global total. It forecasts that funding for proptech start-ups in this region will reach $4.5 billion a year by 2020.

JLL is a leading professional services firm that specialises in real estate and investment management. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 83,500 as of March 31, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.

Email: linda.silaen@theinsiderstories.com