Bengaluru: Real estate veterans Anuj Puri and Yash Gupta along with CapitalM, the family office of realty developer RMZ Corp, plan to launch a $100 million early-stage fund to invest in companies in the expanding property technology (proptech) segment.
Gupta, Puri and CapitalM have co-founded Bluesky Ventures (BSV), in which they are also general partners and sponsors. Bluesky plans to raise capital through the alternative investment fund route.
A partnership between real estate professionals-turned-entrepreneurs and a sectoral company is relatively unique. It comes at a time when the domestic real estate industry is undergoing a churn amid an extended slowdown and experts calling for an overhaul of the sector.
“This is a venture fund focused to invest in, mentor and create growth opportunities for businesses in the proptech space," said Yash Gupta, managing partner at YG Real Estate LLP, which he founded after leaving Hines Ltd in 2017 as senior managing director and country head.
“BSV will invest in early-stage start-ups and will contribute in a direct and significant way to the success of its portfolio companies by leveraging the real estate expertise, operating experience, domain knowledge and relationships of its partners," Gupta said.
BSV will aim to encourage innovation in the property sector across the life cycle of a project from conceptualization to occupation and day-to-day management.
India is one of the most dynamic markets in proptech, with the maximum proptech deals since 2013, according to property advisory JLL India. It said the proptech business is dominated by online brokerage platforms aimed at the residential space, with a few players such as JLL India who have built online platforms for commercial brokerage.
Puri, a former chairman and country head of JLL India, who left the firm in early 2017 to start his own venture, Anarock Property Consultants, said the realty sector has not been very receptive in adopting technology so far.
“The idea is to back companies that will bring in technology in real estate to increase efficiency and productivity," Puri said.
After setting up Anarock last year, Puri appointed Rahul Yadav, co-founder and former chief executive of Housing.com as chief product and technology officer.
Both Puri and Gupta will invest in the proposed fund in their personal capacity.
Abhishek Goenka, CEO of RMZ family office, said the fund aims to raise the first tranche of capital by the end of this year, mainly through investments from the sponsors. It would reach out to external investors to raise the rest of the capital over 12 to 18 months, he added.
“While there have been a lot of investments in the financial and educational technology, funding in proptech has been fairly untouched but has a lot of opportunities across a project lifecycle," said Goenka, who was a senior partner at PWC before joining RMZ this year.
CapitalM is an investor in disruptive real estate technologies and provides Series A to Series C funding to entrepreneurs who have an established product and user base but need growth capital to scale their business.
It is also a capital provider to startup companies who want to explore a more deliverable revenue model. Goenka said proptech can usher new technologies which will help to improve cost efficiencies.