Global real estate consultancy JLL is taking another bet on proptech innovation by leading a $3.8 million Series A funding for 3D visualisation startup Foyr.
JLL is joined by other individual and non-institutional investors for the funding round in the Pune, India-based company, which provides a platform for visualising and customising interior space.
Foyr has been integrated with JLL’s tools across various Asia-Pacific markets since 2016, and has been used in fitting out more than two million square feet (186,000 square metres) of commercial space for the brokerage’s clients in the region.
JLL Invests in Indian Tech Platforms
The deal marks another foray by JLL into the emerging property technology sector. Last May the Chicago-based brokerage invested in ZipGrid, an Indian start-up that provides community asset management tools, and in July JLL joined a funding round for Ecolibrium Energy, a smart grid and energy management provider also based in India.
“The future of our industry lies in using technology to enhance the way we invest in, manage and occupy real estate,” commented Albert Ovidi, Chief Operating Officer, JLL Asia Pacific in a statement. “Foyr’s cutting-edge solutions, which blend virtual reality and real-time market intelligence, offer a unique, immersive experience.”
The strategic investment from JLL is “pivotal in our expansion, both geographically and for our service offering,” commented Foyr’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Shailesh Goswami.
Founded in 2014, Foyr has now raised a total of $5.46 million including earlier seed and venture funding rounds, according to Crunchbase. The platform, which serves commercial real estate professionals as well as home buyers, creates 3D experiences and virtual fit-out, enabling clients to efficiently plan their spaces without drawing up floor plans.
Global Property Brokerages Bet on Innovation
JLL is also seeking an innovation edge by rolling out home-grown products. Last year, the agency launched VR360, a tool that allows clients to monitor real estate projects by capturing 360-degree spherical images of construction sites; and Command Centre, a platform providing analytics for real-time, remote monitoring of buildings and facilities.
Proptech firms in Asia Pacific have raised $4.8 billion in funding since 2013, accounting for more than 60 percent of global investment in the sector over the period, according to a study by the agency released in November 2017.
This week, rival brokerage Colliers International made its own property innovation play by launching the Colliers Proptech Accelerator, an intensive 13-week program for selected startups hosted in the firm’s Toronto headquarters. Colliers is partnering with global entrepreneur network Techstars to run the program designed to generate high-tech solutions in the real estate industry.