Real estate developer Embassy Group has invested in proptech-focused venture capital firm Pi Labs’ current fund as a limited partner (LP), the companies said in a statement.
With the investment in Pi Labs Fund III, the developer aims to take advantage of technology for its portfolio projects as well as further proptech innovation.
As an LP, Embassy Group will also be able to shape proprietary research and co-invest alongside Pi Labs in select opportunities.
For Pi Labs, this will be a gateway for its portfolio companies in Asia. Pi Labs is one of Europe’s most active proptech venture capital firms with over 55 investments in its portfolio.
“Proptech is truly a global category. Its increased growth and adoption makes it one of the most exciting and transformative areas for investment and innovation. We have made investments in over 10 countries across three continents, and this strategic partnership will allow us to draw on synergies with Embassy Group and its leadership in Asia to support our increasingly global strategy,” said Faisal Butt, chief executive officer and founder of Pi Labs.
“As proptech continues to thrive across innovation hubs globally, we will continue to identify active partnerships, such as this one with Embassy Group, to help our portfolio companies scale into international markets,” he added.
Aditya Virwani, chief operating officer of Embassy Group, said, “The past year has accelerated digital transformation across sectors. In the real estate category, we have a generational opportunity to transform how people live, work, and interact, using technology. Our investment in Pi Labs is forward-looking, with the intention of identifying and experimenting with innovations from visionary startups to deploy in our properties, accelerate our consultative capabilities with customers, and augment Embassy Group’s legacy strengths to prepare for the next two decades.”
Pi Labs attracts a global base of LPs from North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Asia. Its current strategic partners that have invested in Fund III include FTSE-listed Great Portland Estates PLC, FTSE-listed Assura PLC, Patrizia AG and pan-European real estate fund manager Revcap.
Founded in 2014, Pi Labs was the first venture capital firm in Europe to exclusively invest in proptech companies. It positions itself as a bridge between traditional real estate companies and proptech startups across Europe.
In its portfolio of companies, it is often the first institutional investor. Pi Labs invests in companies from pre-seed to Series A stage, and makes follow-on bets in later rounds.
It has so far successfully executed two funds -- Fund I (2015) and Fund II (2017) -- and is currently raising money for Fund III which marked its first close in early 2020 having secured €23 million. Pi Labs has built a portfolio of over 55 proptech companies across the UK and Europe.
Embassy Group, which has a presence across residential and commercial real estate in India, has a broader portfolio of 62 million square feet in the country. It is one of the major developers of office space in India and has tied up with private equity giant Blackstone across platforms.
It owns, along with Blackstone, the first real estate investment trust (REIT) in India – Embassy Office Parks -- which went public in 2019. Embassy Group and Warburg Pincus recently signed a deal with Blackstone to sell warehousing business Embassy Industrial Parks.