JLL VC arm marks India entry, invests in co-working technology platform
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JLL Spark, the venture capital arm of the US-based real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., has invested an undisclosed amount of money in Qdesq, a flex-space technology platform and branded workspace aggregator.

The move marks JLL Spark’s first property-technology-focussed investment in an Indian venture, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company said the funds will be used to enhance firm’s analytics capabilities that will allow enterprises to self-solution their real estate footprint and will also help commercial asset owners to create co-working and flex-spaces, Qdesq said in a statement.

Paras Arora, co-founder at Qdseq, said the partnership with JLL will also help the company to scale its platform across Asia. “Qdesq is able to close even large enterprise occupancy requirements within days,” he said.

Separately, Ramesh Nair, chief executive officer and India country head at JLL, said the investment in the Gurugram-based Qdesq would help the firm tap into the growth opportunity in the flexible workspace segment.

JLL’s corporate relationships would complement Qdesq’s technology platform in providing more comprehensive solutions to the latter’s clients, Nair added.

Qdesq, which is Qdesq Realtech Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2015 by Paras Arora and Lavesh Bhandari. It claims to lists India’s largest inventory of available flex spaces and currently transacts one desk every 20 minutes on behalf of corporates.

The company says it currently lists over half a million desks across 2,200 centres covering 35 cities in India, and that it is the dominant distribution channel for co-working operators such as WeWork, 91Springboard, Awfis, Regus, Smartworks, Innov8 and  OYO. In January 2016, Qdesq raised money as part of its seed funding round from a group of investors led by Dheeraj Jain of Redcliffe Capital.

JLL Spark says its mission is to transform the real estate industry through technology. The firm says its prop-tech-focussed investments allow JLL the ability to provide technologically-influenced products to real estate owners and operators.

Apart from Qdesq, other companies in JLL Spark’s portfolio include Honest Buildings, OpenSpace and Vergesense.

JLL Spark is part of the larger JLL Group, which buys, builds, occupies and invests in a variety of real estate assets including industrial, commercial, retail real estate, residential and hotel real estate. The group’s clients span companies across sectors including banking, energy, healthcare, law and life sciences.

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