Fifth Wall, the largest venture capital firm focused on real estate technology, has partnered with BNP Paribas Real Estate to launch its business in Europe with the Fifth Wall Real Estate Technology European Fund (the “Fund”), its first European Proptech fund.
The California-based company founded in 2016 has over $1.2 billion under management, raised from industry stakeholders via several funds. The investment in the Fund is a strategically important move for BNP Paribas Real Estate, envisioning that innovative tech solutions will be critical for developing better buildings and cities.
Thierry Laroue-Pont, Chief Executive Officer, BNP Paribas Real Estate, comments: “Our commitment to Fifth Wall’s new European Fund marks a new important phase that is core to our innovation strategy. After several rewarding partnerships forged with international start-ups in recent years, the launch of this investment fund helps us to support the development of proptech firms and their solutions in Europe.
Etienne Prongué, CEO BNP Paribas Real Estate UK said:
“The partnership with Fifth Wall is a strategically important step for BNP Paribas Real Estate Group as well as for the UK business.
The Fund offers a great opportunity for us to partner with and support high-growth tech firms across Europe. Our pan-European and UK wide presence along with our real estate expertise makes us the perfect springboard for the launch of Fifth Wall’s first European Fund.
The partnership will give us access to the ecosystem of progressive firms and best-in class tech solutions leading the way in digital transformation. It will make us more resilient in the current environment and increasingly adaptable in this fast change world, while allowing us to better support our clients, create better cities and places to work and live.”
In the UK, a record £10.1 billion was invested into the tech sector in 2019, up 44 per cent compared to the previous year according to Tech Nation, with 81 per cent going to scaleup firms.
The public health crisis has acted as an accelerator for pre-COVID-19 trends, including digitalisation, the low carbon economy and agile working, all areas where BNP Paribas Real Estate believes tech solutions are pivotal in driving this forward.
The launch of the Fund in Europe is an important next step for Fifth Wall and follows on from its success in the North American market, offering a gateway for European firms to the US and further afield.
The Fund aims mainly to identify and invest in the most promising European proptech startups and to accelerate European real estate innovation adoption, replicating the success with Fifth Wall’s prior funds, which focused on investing primarily in US-based startups.
The investment in the Fund is being financed via BNP Paribas Group’s dedicated venture capital fund, Opera Tech Ventures. BNP Paribas Real Estate will be one of several key partners and main investors in the Fund.
The partnership with Fifth Wall will allow BNP Paribas Real Estate to identify innovative tech solutions and partners that will enable it to assist its clients more effectively. It will help to strengthen its existing culture of innovation and support the development of better built environments, while also improving management of buildings and helping to enhance the user experience.
As part of their team up, BNP Paribas Real Estate and Fifth Wall will also look for opportunities to potentially co-invest in innovative solutions and explore potential commercial partnerships.
As part of the partnership, Fifth Wall will offer strategic support to BNP Paribas Real Estate that will further enhance its tech credentials.
In addition to the two firms’ commitment to tech, ESG is another aspect important to both businesses. Fifth Wall has been certified as a B Corp, a standard for companies meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance.
“When Fifth Wall was formed in 2016, US-based real estate organisations had only just begun to recognise that investing in technology was imperative to the future of their business,” said Brendan Wallace, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Fifth Wall. “Over the last three years, that same recognition has now come to Europe as well, and we’re thrilled to welcome BNP Paribas Real Estate alongside Fifth Wall’s global consortium that now includes 60 corporate real estate investors from 14 countries, including the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Finland. We look forward to working with BNP Paribas Real Estate on transforming its business through technology and innovation.”
“We’re excited to work with BNP Paribas Real Estate, along with our other European real estate investors, to identify, invest in, and support the most innovative real estate technologies or ‘proptechs’ poised to revolutionise the industry,” said Roelof Opperman, Managing Director, Fifth Wall. “We believe the European proptech market is underpenetrated and has significant room to grow. We look forward to investing in the next generation of visionary entrepreneurs whose companies may benefit BNP Paribas Real Estate and the global proptech ecosystem.”