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Had enough of proptech? Venture capital investor to back ANOTHER 50 startups

PiLabs also says it is to beef up its investment team and open a European office in order to realise its ambitious goal.

Nigel Lewis


A leading proptech venture capital firm that specialises in start-ups has revealed that it is to pile money into 50 new companies over the next five years.

London-based Pi Labs, which was founded by investor and banker Faisal Butt (pictured, above), has already funded several high-profile companies that estate agents will be familiar with.

These include Ask Porter and most famously Emoov, which went into administration at the end of 2018 but has now been relaunched under new management.

Butt, who was on the board of Emoov during its early years, recently stepped in to be CEO of PiLabs after a period as its chairman in a bid to “solidify our position as the most active proptech investor across Europe”.

£140 million

PiLabs has backed 45 proptech firms since it started up in 2014 and has raised £140 million so far, 35 of which have turned from fledgling businesses into standalone companies.

This is a considerable track record given, as Butt admits, many of the start-ups it backs are just good ideas with no turnover, let alone profit.

“A company that comes into our programme does not usually have financial metrics so there’s not much due diligence we can do on the financial side because they are pre-revenue,” he says.

“So the most important thing is team calibre and experience.”

Butt says the next wave of proptech this year will be to help young first-time buyers get on the property ladder as Help to Buy comes to end over the next four years.

PiLabs is backing three of these including RenterBuyer, a non-government version of Shared Ownership.



July 23, 2019

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