JLL, Seedcamp, Starwood and Fora launch Concrete to drive future of proptech

Global real estate professional services firm JLL, seed fund Seedcamp, investor Starwood Capital Group, and flexible office provider Fora have joined forces to launch Concrete, a new initiative to enable proptech firms to scale more effectively.

The strategic alliance between the firms addresses one of the biggest challenges faced by proptech startups: accessing sufficient capital, expertise, and relationships to grow rapidly enough to serve large clients.

Concrete and its panel of expert advisors will provide these essential ingredients to a carefully-selected intake of early stage companies, giving their property tech innovations every chance of success with key insight and support.

Concrete has already made three investments, HubbleHQ, Opensensors.io, and Beagle.ai. Each brings transformative innovation to the real estate community and will be supported by expert representatives from diverse disciplines within the real estate sector to support their growth.

Guy Grainger (pictured), EMEA CEO, JLL said: “Our alliance with Concrete enables JLL to be at the forefront of the next generation of real estate-related technologies.

“It also helps us to meet our strategic objectives of bringing tech-related benefits to our clients and leading the transformation of the real estate industry more broadly. We’re looking forward to getting started, lending our expertise and insights into what investors in, and occupiers and developers of, real estate need, and playing a part in helping the best ideas take root and grow.”

Seedcamp, Europe’s first seed fund, has backed over 250 tech startups in the past decade. Although the early-stage investor has an agnostic approach when considering startups, in recent years the team has made a number of high profile property tech investments, reflecting the growing trend in the market. To date Seedcamp has funded the likes of Property Partner, eMoov, Trussle and Hubble.

Reshma Sohoni, founding partner of Seedcamp, said: “Proptech is a space we see huge potential in at Seedcamp. We’ve already backed a number of companies in the sector and we’re seeing an ever increasing number of startups in this space coming to us for investment. We’re excited to partner with other great brands and respected names to create Concrete and build the ecosystem we know works best for startups.”

To lead the Concrete offering, Taylor Wescoatt, currently Expert in Residence for Seedcamp, has been appointed director. Taylor Wescoatt, Director of Concrete and Expert in Residence at Seedcamp, added: “A flood of technology trends are shaking up the global real estate market which is worth $217trn.

“Startups are using new technologies such as VR, blockchain, and big data to enable solutions in what has been a very traditional marketplace for a very long time. Concrete is here to fund and scale these businesses, supporting them with the great support of Seedcamp, JLL, Starwood Capital Group and Fora Providing an extensive network, access to further funding and the knowledge to grow.”

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