A/O PropTech offers giant sandbox for startups disrupting real estate

TechCrunch | February 11, 2020

A/O PropTech is a European VC that officially launched last week after raising €250 million in what it describes as “permanent capital” to invest in companies disrupting the €230 trillion real estate industry. This approach sees the firm structured more like a corporation with various shareholders, rather than a traditional venture capital fund with a typical life cycle of two-to-five years. The group invests from Series A to later-growth stages and claims to be more patient with regards to the timing of any exits. A/O PropTech’s investors are described as some of the largest institutional real-estate companies in Europe that hold a pool of residential, commercial and hospitality assets. Proptech companies that the VC backs can potentially leverage these assets as a sandbox to test, pilot and “fast-track the commercial and operational scale” of their offerings, according to a company statement. To date, the firm reports eight proptech companies in its portfolio that span 14 countries and serve 200K real estate units.

Spotlight

Retailers, landlords, developers and investors have grown increasingly concerned over the last few years about the state of the retail real estate market. As more consumers buy goods online, many have questioned the need for bricks and mortar retail stores. Ecommerce sales have grown robustly over the years while retail sales overall has been more lackluster which suggests that net (in-store) retail sales have been flat or possibly declining. While many have worried about this net growth number, few have tried to measure it. And the media only focuses on the aggregate number so very little about what is really happening at retail stores is reported on a regular basis.

Spotlight

Retailers, landlords, developers and investors have grown increasingly concerned over the last few years about the state of the retail real estate market. As more consumers buy goods online, many have questioned the need for bricks and mortar retail stores. Ecommerce sales have grown robustly over the years while retail sales overall has been more lackluster which suggests that net (in-store) retail sales have been flat or possibly declining. While many have worried about this net growth number, few have tried to measure it. And the media only focuses on the aggregate number so very little about what is really happening at retail stores is reported on a regular basis.

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