Global real estate consultancy JLL has teamed up with Australian developer Lendlease to launch Propell Asia, a Singapore-based startup accelerator designed to foster innovative technologies in the Asia Pacific property sector.
The proptech accelerator will select five early-stage startups to enter a 10-week programme, which will offer industry connections and mentoring from a group of executives and entrepreneurs, JLL and Lendlease announced this week. Each startup, which will be eligible for a S$20,000 ($14,670) cash grant, must have a clearly defined product focussing on property management, real estate transactions, construction management, or data collection and analysis.
Propell Asia will be held in District6, a recently opened, 10,000 square foot co-working space in the Bras Basah precinct of central Singapore. Applications are open till August 17 and the accelerator for the batch of successful startups will kick off in the third quarter of the year.
Upon completion, a demo day will be held in which the startups will present their products to an audience of real estate experts, investors and media. Along with District6, creative technology investor MeshMinds is also partnering with JLL and Lendlease on the programme.
Partners Eye “Wave of Disruption” in $16T Market
Chicago-based JLL and Sydney-headquartered Lendlease are betting that the new incubator for high-tech solutions will help transform Asia’s vast property sector. JLL estimates that the total stock of investable commercial real estate in Asia Pacific was worth $16 trillion in 2017 – 30 percent of the global total – and will grow to $19.5 trillion by 2020.
“Through our integrated business models and networks, Lendlease and JLL will enable participants to access the entire real estate value chain including investment, development, construction, brokerage, consulting and facilities management and opportunities to test and validate their products,” commented Tony Lombardo, CEO for Asia at Lendlease in a statement.
“Against the backdrop of rapid urbanisation and the rise of smart cities, our industry in Asia Pacific is primed for the next wave of disruption,” noted Albert Ovidi, chief operating officer of JLL Asia Pacific.
JLL Makes Another Innovation Play
The pair of real estate heavyweights reckon that property management can potentially be transformed through predictive maintenance and robotics, and that blockchain technology can drive automation and efficiency in real estate leasing and sales. JLL and Lendlease are also interested in applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, as well as the Internet of Things and virtual reality.
Just three weeks ago, JLL announced the creation of the JLL Spark Global Venture Fund, which aims to invest up to $100 million in global proptech firms. The new vehicle will primarily target seed and series A investments, with a typical investment size ranging up to several million dollars.
The fund was set up by JLL Spark, a division of the NYSE-listed global brokerage. JLL Spark last month made its first strategic acquisition by picking up Stessa, a software-as-a-service firm that allows investors in income-generating properties to track and manage portfolio performance.
JLL’s other ventures into the property tech world have included leading a $3.8 million Series A funding for India-based 3D visualisation startup Foyr in January.