The Real Deal New York

Brookfield is going to spend big on real estate tech

Toronto-based conglomerate will invest up to $300M in startups
April 24, 2018 01:45PM

BuildingConnected

One of the world’s largest developers and institutional landlords is set to pour up to $300 million into”disruptive” technology.

Brookfield Asset Management, under the new venture capital unit called Brookfield Ventures, will put up between $200 million and $300 million into four divisions: real estate, infrastructure, private equity and power, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The Canadian conglomerate, which owns Brookfield Property Partners, recently made its first startup investment in BuildingConnected, with a $15 million deal to the company which enables networking and management services to contractors and owners. The funding could balloon up to $53 million, according to the Journal.

Stewart-Upson

“We’re going to get access to deals that others wouldn’t get access to, and we’re going to be able to add value to things that others wouldn’t be able to add value to,” Stewart Upson, a managing partner at Brookfield, told the Journal.

Upson said that executives at the company did not initially feel technology would affect real estate the way it changed the music and publishing industries. But they eventually relented and have made some investments in tech companies, including Convene, a WeWork rival that has raised at least $68 million in venture funding since 2016.

Brookfield, with $285 billion in assets under management, is known to experiment. Earlier this week, the company said it would be conducting a retail experiment with a portfolio of properties it bought on Bleecker Street for $31.5 million. The company plans to create an incubator for emerging online brands or new retail concepts in a brick-and-mortar location.

In February, The Real Deal examined how real estate’s technology revolution is changing the landscape. [WSJ]David Jeans