The largest European proptech, A/O PropTech, has officially launched after raising €250 million capital to invest in startups disrupting real estate. A/O PropTech’s vision is underpinned by a commitment to tackle climate related issues, as the real estate industry consumes 40% of the world’s energy and raw materials.
A/O PropTech is looking to invest in startups at Series A stage onwards, which have the potential to transform the real estate industry through technology, data science and AI. Its mission is to take on climate change through its investments, knowing that the real estate sector emits 30% of global CO. By funding proptech startups working on emerging technologies, enabling decarbonisation and sustainability in real estate, it hopes to make a difference.
To date, A/O PropTech has backed 10 companies, in Europe, USA, and Israel including Bricklane, Fornova and most recently Plentific, leading a €29.2 million Series B round in November 2019. In the next few weeks, the VC will be announcing additional investments at the intersection of proptech and climate tech, with a European sovereign institution partnering alongside.
Led by a multidisciplinary team, A/O PropTech employs real estate, finance, data, mathematician and engineering professionals. Its senior management team has previously led large scale digital transformation projects for global banking, automotive and luxury retail groups. This expertise is applied to support its institutional real estate investors transition into more digital and data driven organisations.
Some of the largest institutional real estate companies in Europe are amongst A/O PropTech’s investors, and combine a strategic pool of residential, commercial and hospitality assets in excess of €32 billion. This portfolio is used and integrated by A/O Propech as a ready-made sandbox, to test, pilot and fast-track the commercial and operational scale of its portfolio companies – a first of this nature and scale in Europe.
To date, pure-play European proptech VCs have been lagging behind the US in terms of funding, scale, and ecosystem delivery. A/O PropTech’s launch marks a new step towards bridging this gap for the European proptech venture landscape, with the emergence of well capitalised large-scale specialist VCs. With its permanent capital approach, a first in the space, the firm is able to be stage agnostic, and a more flexible and patient investor.
Gregory Dewerpe, Founder, A/O PropTech said: “The disruption of the real estate industry is a long-term secular trend, which we view as a generational opportunity. We are dedicated to backing visionary, bold and resilient entrepreneurs, building a powerful ecosystem with fellow VCs and endeavour to make a positive impact.
Real estate is the biggest cause of climate change. We are now in the midst of a profound societal shift in the fight for sustainability, with growing pressure from lawmakers, investors and tenants. This is a defining moment. An integral part of our strategy is to invest in emerging technology companies targeting sustainability in real estate and fast track them into our platform ecosystem.”
A/O PropTech’s Chief Data Officer, Othmane Zrikem, said: “We fundamentally believe in the need to gather multi-disciplinary expertise to optimise the various aspects of VC investing. The deployment of data science methodologies, combined with the integration of digitised processes and curated data sets, will help shape the next generation of real-estate industry operating models.”