A/O PropTech is first VC to join World Economic Forum Global Innovators Community
A/O PropTech, Europe’s largest proptech VC, will be the first venture capital firm to join the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a member of its Global Innovators Community.
The WEF Global Innovators Community brings together the world’s most prominent corporates and scaleups at the cutting edge of technological innovation. Membership of the WEF Global Innovators Community will allow A/O PropTech - and the companies it backs - to support policy makers, academics and business leaders in addressing major global challenges around urbanisation, affordable housing and climate risk.
Having launched in 2019 with a €250m evergreen fund to invest in technology companies disrupting the built world, the London-based VC has been the most active specialist proptech investor in Europe. Given the huge impact that the industry has on the environment, A/O PropTech has focused heavily on investing in some of the most promising ‘climatech’ companies that will help mitigate real estate’s environmental impact.
A growing array of startups focus on end-to-end aspects of buildings’ life cycles, through design and construction, to management and operations. A/O has invested alongside sovereign wealth funds, large corporates, energy and real estate companies, demonstrating the momentum behind tackling climate related issues in real estate at a global level.
Amongst its most recent investments are smart building platform Aquicore, data-driven carbon reduction specialists Vizcab, green cloud computer services Qarnot Computing and intelligent building systems platform Passive Logic, which recently raised $16m in a Series A funding.
Construction tech company, 011H, recently joined the A/O PropTech portfolio. Founded by some of Spain’s most successful entrepreneurs such as Lucas Carné & Jose Manuel Villlanueva (Privalia Founders), Jose Ojeda (Lyst COO) and Alex Valls (Socialpoint CPO) The company digitalises the construction value chain and designs a component-based parametric building system using cross laminated timber to industrialise and decarbonise construction.
Gregory Dewerpe, Founder at A/O Proptech, said: “The work we do as a VC firm goes way beyond just investing. Our desire is to enable change and help solve some of the biggest issues faced by global cities, particularly around ESG.
"That’s why I am delighted to be invited by the World Economic Forum to join the Global Innovators Community, It is a validation of our continued focus and vision to back the transformation of the built world and it gives us a global canvas to bring Proptech to the fore and build global networks to advance change from within.
"Building a different kind of VC firm is a challenge, - being the first VC firm joining WEF as a global innovator tells us we are on the right path. Companies of the future must do well by doing good and we work tirelessly in our pursuit of this mission."
A/O PropTech’s invitation to join the World Economic Forum Global innovators Community comes as real estate innovation - particularly around sustainability and ESG - climbs up the agenda. The real estate industry is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally, emitting 30% of all global CO2 annually and consuming 40% of all global energy and raw materials.
However, it is an issue that has remained relatively under the radar, while agriculture and transportation are more commonly identified as the culprits of the climate crisis. As a result, there has been little to no pressure from external stakeholders historically to invest in or adopt new technologies.
Alice Charles, WEF IoT & Urban Transformation Platform said: “We are thrilled to welcome A/O PropTech to the World Economic Forum Global Innovators and Future of Real Estate Community. A/O is the largest and most active European proptech VC firm and a category leader as investors, thought leaders and disruptors in the transformation of the built world.
“Real estate digital transformation and innovation can play a key role in supporting the World Economic Forum. We look forward to A/O’s contribution to the WEF IoT and Urban Transformation Platform initiatives, further strengthening the private and public sector collaboration to deliver a more sustainable future.”