10 March 2022. Sellar, the real estate investor and developer, has invested in pioneering European proptech Venture Capitalist (VC), Pi Labs, joining as a Limited Partner (LP) into its third institutional fund, Fund III, which has closed at $90million.
Sellar’s participation in the fund will support Pi Labs’ investment strategy of identifying the next generation of proptech startups – from pre-seed to series A stage - across UK, Europe, and further afield. The VC will deploy capital from the fund to almost double its global proptech portfolio to include 100 companies by 2025.
Fund III is investing in start-ups that have developed proprietary technology to enhance any stage of the real estate value chain. Key areas of focus for the current fund include technologies that help real estate owners achieve their decarbonisation goals, as well as those that are reshaping the future of work and retail, in addition to artificial intelligence and robotics for logistics and construction.
By participating in Pi Labs’ Fund III, Sellar will gain access to Pi Labs’ ecosystem, which includes global start-ups, proprietary research, and the cutting-edge ideas in built environment technology emerging from its Growth Programme. The strategic investment will allow Sellar to trial, pilot, and deploy the latest technologies across its portfolio of properties.
The final close welcomed numerous blue-chip institutional investors from around the world, including the largest Dutch pension provider APG, listed UAE developer Aldar Properties, iconic London real estate developer Sellar, King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (represented by Argent and also including AustralianSuper and Federated Hermes), Hong Kong-based developers Sino Group and Swire Properties, Nordic sustainable construction solutions firm Kiilto, Canadian Hopewell Group and Germany’s Jaeger Gruppe.
The latest LPs join an existing list of renowned investors including Great Portland Estates, Patrizia, Assura, Revcap, Embassy Group, Moorfield, Elkstone Partners, Helical, Europi and Gaedeke. With Fund III’s LPs boasting a total assets under management of circa $350bn, Pi Labs aims to supplement the fund’s capital with additional co-investment capital both in early-stage funding rounds, as well as during later stage equity raises.
Pi Labs has already completed 21 investments from capital deployed from Fund III. Such deals include the US-based warehouse management platform Fulfilld’s $2.5m seed round, which involved former Amazon CEO, Jeff Wilke, in addition to London-based augmented reality startup Dent Reality’s $3.4m seed round, as well as Vienna-based sustainability startup GreenPass.
James Sellar, Chief Executive at Sellar, commented: “Sellar’s investment in Pi Labs’ latest fund reflects the importance that we place in supporting technologies that will drive the evolution and digital transformation of the built environment sector. The startups that Pi Labs invests in are ultimately the ones that will solve the industry pressure points and challenges, including achieving a cleaner and greener world, which is fundamental when Sellar undertakes development projects.”
Faisal Butt, CEO and Founder of Pi Labs, said: “Raising close to $100m against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented for a fund that primarily targets early-stage proptech ventures. The global profile of our latest fund’s LPs reflects the surge in institutional allocation towards the proptech sector, and an increased awareness of how startups are successfully scaling and solving critical, large-scale industry issues.
“Our fund being 40% oversubscribed positions us to deploy significant quantities of capital, alongside blue-chip institutions, into global markets where proptech startups are reshaping real estate sub-sectors prime for disruption. Pi Labs’ track record and ability to scout, and back, the world’s most innovative proptech companies at the earliest stages makes us a partner of choice for institutions entering the proptech sector. Having been the first proptech VC to complete successful exits and deliver returns, we look forward to partnering with our LPs to invest in new technologies that will revolutionise the built environment.”