Fifth Wall, the venture capital firm that’s backed Opendoor, States Title and Industrious, is looking overseas for its next hit.
The Los Angeles-based firm is currently raising a $118 million European fund to invest in proptech startups. Although the fund is not yet closed, investors so far include the real estate arm of BNP Paribas, the French bank; Pontos, a Finnish family office; MOMENI, a German real estate developer; and Azora, a Spanish investment manager.
Etienne Prongué, CEO of BNP’s real estate arm in the U.K., told the Telegraph that the deal with Fifth Wall was “strategically important,” and could serve was a “gateway” for European firms to expand to the U.S.
Founded in 2016, Fifth Wall has more than $1 billion in assets under management, having backed companies including Opendoor, States Title, VTS, Industrious and SmartRent. After raising a $212 million inaugural fund in 2017, Fifth Wall closed a $503 million protech fund — the largest of its kind — in July 2019. It has since closed a $100 million retail fund, and is raising a $200 million carbon impact fund.
Over the last three years, real estate organizations in Europe have started to recognize the upside to investment in tech. “We believe the European proptech market is underpenetrated and has significant room to grow,” said Roelof Opperman, a managing director at Fifth Wall.
There are 805 proptech companies in Britain, 547 in Spain and 342 in Germany, according to a recent study by Oxford University. To date, British investors have pumped $5 billion into the sector.
[Telegraph] — E.B. Solomont