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JLL launches $100m fund

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JLL Spark has announced a US$100-million global venture fund targeting companies that aim to transform real estate through technology.

JLL Spark, a division of property services firm JLL, will use the JLL Spark Global Venture Fund to invest up to $100 million in companies focused on leveraging technology to improve everything from real estate development and management to customer experience.

The fund will connect entrepreneurs and their companies with JLL's business lines and clients for feedback and product distribution.

According to a recent report by JLL and Tech in Asia, proptech startups in Asia-Pacific are outpacing their counterparts in Europe and the US, with 179 of them raising $4.8 billion in funding between 2013 and mid-2017 (more than 60% of the global total).

JLL forecasts funding for proptech startups in the region to reach $4.5 billion a year by 2020.

"Asia-Pacific is home to the world's leading smart cities, many of which are powered by tech-enabled real estate tools," said Mihir Shah, co-CEO of JLL Spark. "The fund gives us unparalleled opportunities 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."

The new fund will focus on seed and Series A investments, as well as on later stage rounds. Typical investment size will range from a few hundred thousand to several million dollars.

JLL Spark will direct its efforts to tech startups with products that can help JLL investor and occupier clients or that can be used by JLL businesses to better deliver their services.

The fund is also interested in companies investing in new tech-enabled business models in traditional JLL service areas or those that will help expand services to new client segments.

"Creating this $100-million venture fund complements and expands our substantial ongoing investments in digital solutions," said Christian Ulbrich, JLL's global chief executive.


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