Carbon negative construction company LEKO LABS announces $21 million oversubscribed Series A, appoints new CEO

  • LEKO LABS’s sustainably-sourced wood-based building materials solution able to replace up to 75% of concrete and steel used in a single building, dramatically reducing carbon footprint during construction
  • Wall system is highly insulating and can reduce heating and cooling needs by up to 87% whilst creating more commercially available floor space due to thinner wall requirements
  • New funding will be used to accelerate roll-out of LEKO LABS’s advanced software and robotics construction solution to supply finished walls across Europe
  • Total funding now sits at $23m

Luxembourg, 22nd February 2022. LEKO LABS, the Luxembourg based carbon negative construction company, today announces a $21 million Series A funding round.

The investment is led by urban sustainability-focused fund 2150 with participation from the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Tencent, AMAVI, Rise PropTech Fund, Extantia and Freigeist. The total footprint of real estate developed, built or managed by LEKO LABS’s new investor base totals approximately 500 million sq ft., which corresponds to an area the size of Manhattan.

Former Lilium CCO Dr. Remo Gerber also joins the company as CEO, with current CEO and founder Francois Cordier reverting to the CTO role with the focus of furthering its groundbreaking sustainable building materials, robotics and software development.

LEKO LABS has developed a novel wall and floor system based entirely on wood and wood fibre, which is capable of replacing up 75% of concrete and steel currently used in constructing a single building. In incorporating engineered wood and a fully circular manufacturing process, the system provides not only a sustainable approach to building but superior insulation properties with thinner walls, enabling up to 10% more floor space for a given building.

The technology can be used for buildings up to 100m tall and multiple developments are in completion to date in its Benelux home market, from homes to office buildings, data-centres and beyond. The wall system is also highly insulating and can reduce heating and cooling needs of a building by up to 87% compared to today’s standards, whilst potentially enabling buildings to remain carbon neutral over their entire lifetime.

LEKO LABS’s software platform calculates and optimises thermal, acoustic and static properties of the buildings, resolving moisture and noise problems typically associated with wooden buildings. Its algorithm optimizes each building reducing wood usage vs traditional builds by up to 50%, making best use of the precious natural resource.

By introducing an automotive style, robotics driven approach to the manufacturing of buildings, more can be delivered in much shorter time and at higher quality in comparison to traditional construction approaches. This benefits not only construction companies but also workers able to perform their duties in a safe and clean environment.

The Series A funding is one of the most substantial capital raises in the sustainable building sector in Europe, an area for a long time underfunded by venture capital investments. This is especially important considering 39% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from housing with one third of that from raw materials production of concrete and steel and two thirds from heating and cooling our buildings. The new funding will enable LEKO LABS to scale its advanced software and robotics construction solution throughout Europe including Germany, the Nordics and the UK, supplying finished walls from its factory in Luxembourg.

Francois Cordier, CTO and Founder at LEKO LABS: “I’m delighted to welcome Remo as our new CEO and our new investors to help deliver our vision towards a more sustainable building sector. Together we have a strong shot on the goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in 2040 by 1% using the LEKO LABS advanced building technology. His experience in scaling companies and capitalising them will be instrumental for the success of the company.”

Dr. Remo Gerber, CEO at LEKO LABS: “I could not be more excited to join the journey with Francois and the entire LEKO LABS team, it’s such an important and critical mission. We are making a difference today, each of our walls saves several tons of CO2 here and now. By scaling up our solution with automotive robotics we will achieve global impact in the coming years.”

The investor group was led by urban sustainability technology VC fund 2150, who closed their first $310 million fund in October 2021. The fund’s mission is to invest in technologies addressing the planet’s most pressing climate change problems, and they have in particular identified the built environment as a key challenge.

Christian Hernandez, co-founder at 2150 said: “The LEKO LABS team is on an important mission to help decarbonise the built environment with a fundamentally different and scalable approach. We are delighted to partner with LEKO LABS bringing our climate tech and strong European property investor basis to play and help adoption of a groundbreaking new approach.”

LEKO LABS’s 5L walls are commercially attractive to build with, and when combined with inbuilt insulation can reduce wall thickness by up to 40%, creating more property floor space. Furthermore, usage of the solution can enable total building times to be shrunk by up to 50%, reducing noise and waste at construction sites to a minimum. Thus, overall building with LEKO LABS’s system is close to carbon neutral with a commercially superior solution.

The system of LEKO LABS can be applied in most building settings from single family homes, to apartment or office buildings and industrial warehouses or data centers. It is a commercially attractive solution with one of the lowest carbon footprints possible from the moment the building is completed and throughout the lifetime with low heating and cooling emissions. So future residents can sleep in peace knowing they built sustainable and corporate organisations have a real solution to help achieve their Net Zero goals.

About LEKO LABS:

LEKO LABS S.A. was founded by Francois Cordier in 2017 with a vision to accelerate the adoption of sustainable building materials in the built environment. It has grown to over 30 FTE in Luxembourg and has recently opened a subsidiary in Switzerland and will soon open an office in London. It has developed a groundbreaking wood composite structure capable of replacing concrete bearing walls in any type of building up to 100m tall. Buildings are delivered today in its home BENELUX market, saving thousands of tons of CO2 and expansion is planned across Europe in 2022.

Cintoo receives funding to accelerate growth from AMAVI Capital, Armilar Venture Partners, Accenture Ventures, UI Investissement and Region Sud Investissement

Press release

Cintoo receives funding to accelerate growth from AMAVI Capital, Armilar Venture Partners, Accenture Ventures, UI Investissement and Region Sud Investissement

Cintoo has today announced a Series A investment of 5.3 million € ($6 million) from five international investors – AMAVI Capital, Armilar Venture Partners, Accenture Ventures, UI Investissement and Region Sud Investissement.

Cintoo’s SaaS platform, Cintoo Cloud, leverages Reality Data in the cloud and is at the convergence of Reality Capture and Digital Twins. Reality Capture devices, such as laser scanners or drones, are frequently used to capture the as-built conditions of a physical space, such as a building construction area, a factory or a plant, so that teams working on retrofit, construction or simulation projects can do their design or control work remotely without needing to visit the space. However, making such gigantic Reality Capture data accessible to stakeholders via the cloud has always been a challenge. Cintoo’s multimodal, hardware agnostic platform is the response to this challenge. Cintoo Cloud uses a unique, patent-pending, core point cloud-to-mesh engine, and interconnects with BIM and Digital Twin platforms to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds. Accurate data of buildings, factories, plants, or any other industrial asset, becomes accessible and easily interpretable, by experts and non-experts alike, from a simple web browser from anywhere at any time, using Cintoo’s 3D mesh streaming technology.  

With approximately three billion square feet of laser scan data uploaded so far, spanning 4,000 projects, Cintoo Cloud is currently being used by more than 20,000 users in BIM, construction and Industry 4.0 organizations across the US, Canada, Europe and Australasia as a unique source of trustful Reality Data to better manage and collaborate on both brownfield and greenfield projects, saving significant resources, time and money.

The investment will be used to expand Cintoo Cloud’s capabilities to meet the needs of Industry 4.0 and BIM and construction customers, developing next generation features for asset management, progress monitoring and industrial metaverse exploration. This investment will also help Cintoo further expand its business in North America, Europe and APAC.

The Series A funding was co-led by AMAVI Capital and Armilar Venture Partners, and counted with a participation from Accenture Ventures, as well as from Cintoo’s prior Investors, UI Investissement and Region Sud Investissement, who continue to support the business.

Dominique Pouliquen, Cintoo’s CEO, explained: “Our mission is to become the world leader in cloud-based solutions to empower Reality Data on-demand and we’ve made significant in-roads since we launched Cintoo Cloud in 2018.

“We’re very happy to bring AMAVI, Armilar and Accenture Ventures on board. Securing this investment from top European and US VCs, together with the continuous support from UI Investissement and Region Sud Investissement, is testament to the strength of the platform, our team’s industry experience, our technical expertise and our vision for Cintoo. With this funding and support, we can quickly start to turn this vision into reality.”

Frédéric Van den Weghe, Managing Partner at AMAVI Capital said: “Supporting companies like Cintoo is why we founded AMAVI: as a dedicated investor in companies making the built world more efficient and sustainable, Cintoo ticks a lot of boxes. With its Cintoo Cloud product it makes construction teams across the globe collaborate more efficiently, remote and in real-time. For industry 4.0 applications, it is the platform where digital twin data comes together and is enriched with IoT and AI data to become the dashboard of the factories of the future. Its blue chip customers base, including a.o. leading car manufactures and engineering firms, and more than 20,000 active users on the platform are a clear sign of the value add the Cintoo product brings.”

Pedro Ribeiro Santos, Partner at Armilar Venture Partners commented: “As much as cloud computing keeps bringing innovation and openness to many industries, there are a few areas in which it has been more challenging to benefit from it, particularly in applications that need to handle huge amounts of data in real time while offering smooth user experiences. 3D Reality Data is one of those areas, that has stayed ripe for disruption until now. Cintoo’s technology, the result of years of R&D, makes it possible, making the data accessible to anyone and opening the doors to new uses of that data – and making Cintoo an excellent fit for Armilar’s TechTransfer Fund.”

Aurélie Viaux, Investment Director at UI Investissement added: “We have been supporting Cintoo and its management team since its seed round in 2017 and we are very proud to participate today in this new stage of the company’s development, alongside major European investors. This Series A round will enable Cintoo to continue its international development and to establish itself as the world leader in cloud-based solutions to empower reality data on demand. This is a fundamental solution for the future development of the BIM and Industry 4.0 markets.”

About Cintoo
Cintoo is a French and US startup, established in 2013 to find a solution for managing terabytes of Reality Capture data in the cloud for Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Industry 4.0 businesses. The company launched its SaaS platform, Cintoo Cloud, in 2018, which uses its patent-pending, core point cloud-to-mesh engine to stream huge 3D data using any PC, laptop or tablet with a web browser. Email contact@cintoo.com or visit www.cintoo.com

About AMAVI Capital
AMAVI PropTech Fund is a pan-European investment fund established to support growth of the leading and most promising companies active in the PropTech industry. AMAVI aims to create a bridge between the traditional real estate and construction industry and the most groundbreaking European PropTech companies, by leveraging its combined expertise and network from the real estate, technology and private equity industry. For more information, please visit https://amavi.capital/

About Armilar Venture Partners
Armilar Venture Partners is Portugal’s leading VC funds manager. An independent VC with a history of more than 20 years, a high-performance track record and an international footprint, Armilar is a deep-tech investor, with a focus on early-stage technology-based companies where data, digitisation and connectivity play a central role. For more information, please visit www.armilar.com. The Armilar Venture Partners TechTransfer Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing. The fund is also co-financed by Fundo de Capital e Quase Capital (FC&QC), managed by Banco Português de Fomento, S.A.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 674,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at accenture.com

About UI Investissement
UI Investissement is an independent Private Equity firm specializing in the development of unlisted French companies. For over 50 years, UI has been committed to work alongside managers and leaders of growing start-ups, SMEs and medium-sized companies (ETIs) to create and develop economically successful companies in the long term. UI Investissement manages nearly €1.5 billion in assets and had invested with more than 300 business managers in essential sectors such as healthcare, agribusiness, business services and industry. Growth and Buyout capital, the historical core of UI’s activity, represents more than two-thirds of the AUM and its more than fifty companies in our portfolio that can rely on UI’s operational expertise and methodological tools. The management teams and investment vehicles dedicated to venture capital and distressed investments support companies throughout their life cycle and contribute to the economic dynamism. Today, UI has more than 70 professionals and 13 regional offices across France. Visit www.ui-investissement.co

About Region Sud Investissement
Région Sud Investissement is the regional investment company created in 2010 by the South Region to support the emergence and development of growth companies. Région Sud Investissement, with a capital of €134m, receives 42% of its capacity from the European Union through the ERDF fund. Région Sud Investissement is advised by Turenne Groupe for the management of its equity investments. Visit www.regionsudinvestissement.com

YouStock raises €3.7 million to speed up the digitalisation of storage for individuals

YouStock announces a new funding round of €3.7 million led by AMAVI Capital, a fund specialising in European PropTech, Région Sud Investissement and the Business Angel Jean-Luc Haddad, founder and CEO of Grospiron International. Founded in 2015 in Monaco, YouStock, led by Alexis Bouresche (CEO) and Pierre Charvet (COO), aims to meet the need to optimise space. Their flexible and affordable solution makes the storage of personal items more democratic.

Customised storage, without lifting a finger

YouStock was born out of a simple observation: the self-storage market has many issues, including inadequate pricing, but also logistical constraints. YouStock resolves them with a solution based on two key principles:

  • Reasonable and fair prices. Thanks to an algorithm that calculates the volume of storage required, YouStock can offer a surface area that meets its customers’ needs and can thus offer rates that are up to 40% cheaper than traditional self-storage.
  • Simple, customised organisation of storage. Thanks to an online solution, YouStock allows its customers to directly manage the organisation of storage from start to finish: the YouStock team pick up the items from your home, and you can manage your personal items directly yourself. The YouStock solution allows you to have the desired items delivered back to your home within 48 hours thanks to an online inventory using QR codes.

Conquering the digitalisation of self-storage on a European scale

This capital raising is happening at a crucial time for YouStock’s development. Despite the context of last year, YouStock achieved impressive growth and now has over 1200 active customers, representing a 90% increase compared to 2020. The success of its launch in Paris during the lockdown also confirmed the relevance of its strategy. The inflation of the price per square metre in cities has considerably reduced habitable floor area, obliging many people to find new solutions for storing their personal belongings.

The startup wants to take advantage of this new funding round to speed up its development, with the integration of automation processes for delivery and storage. YouStock is also aiming for national and international expansion, for example by opening a branch in Lyon in early 2022 as well as a location in a European capital. These ambitious projects are in line with the objective of its founders: becoming the European leader in urban self-storage within 4 years.

‘Our success in Paris, Monaco and Nice confirms the relevance of a service like YouStock in big cities. By offering city dwellers the fairest, simplest, and most affordable model, we aspire to quickly become a key player. This raising of capital offers a real opportunity for us to gain a foothold throughout France over the next few months.’ Alexis Bouresche, CEO YouStock

‘Ever since its launch, we’ve been impressed by the digital platform developed by the YouStock team, as well as the growth they’ve generated. Supporting YouStock in their ambitions to grow in France and in Europe is perfectly in line with the PropTech focus of our investment strategy. YouStock revolutionises the way you can manage your belongings on demand, short or longer term, and at a very competitive rate. All on an intuitive digital platform.’ Frederic Van den Weghe, Managing Partner AMAVI Capital

About YouStock

In order to make up for the lack of services offered by self-storage and furniture storage brands, two old friends, Alexis Bouresche and Jacopo Marzocco, decided to focus on the concept of ‘storage on demand’.  YouStock was founded in 2015. It experienced rapid growth, allowing it to raise capital for the first time in 2017. Pierre Charvet joined the company in the same year as Associate COO, in order to structure the geographical and strategic development of the company. Today, YouStock operates on the Côte-d’Azur, in Monaco, Paris and the greater Paris region. Tomorrow, Europe!

About AMAVI Capital

AMAVI Capital is one of the first PropTech investors and one of the rare investors to focus solely on this segment in Europe. AMAVI is a fully independent investment vehicle with a European network, created to support the growth of the leading and most promising businesses in the PropTech sector. The main defining feature of AMAVI Capital is its in-depth knowledge of the real-estate sector.

About Région Sud Investissement:

Région Sud Investissement is the regional investment company created in 2010 by the Région Sud (South Region of France) to support the emergence and development of growth companies in the region. Région Sud Investissement, with a capital of €134 million, receives 42% of its funding from the European Union through the ERDF fund.

CASAFARI secures $135 million to expand its innovative Real Estate platform across Europe

CASAFARI, Europe’s largest independent real estate network connecting more than 15,000 real estate professionals to 95 million property listings, has secured $120 million to build a portfolio of residential and commercial real estate on behalf of European institutional investors. Alongside this major transaction, it has secured a $15 million Series A investment led by Prudence Holdings, the New York-based VC firm.

Lisbon, 7 July 2021. CASAFARI, the leading real estate data platform in Europe, has secured a $120 million mandate from private equity investors, such as Geneva based investment group Stoneweg, to be deployed in a buy-to-let strategy targeting the acquisition of fragmented units in residential and commercial real estate. Additionally, the Company has also raised a $15 million Series A equity investment led by Prudence Holdings, the established New-York based VC behind Compass, Blockchain.com, Uber and Spotify. 

With operations in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy, the company founded by Mila Suharev, Nils Henning and Mitya Moskalchuk in 2018, has grown exponentially to serve 1,500 clients and 15,000 professionals supported by 90 employees of 24 nationalities. 

According to Gavin Mayers, Prudence Holdings co-founder, “in Europe, as in most non-U.S. geographies, real estate data has never been structured and organized due to the lack of a unified Multiple Listings Service (“MLS”). CASAFARI has taken on the role of aggregating, verifying and distributing this data to key industry participants, providing a continental single source of truth for property and transaction data. Through its innovative technology, leveraging AI and machine learning, we believe its unique data and products will unlock single-family homes as an asset class to institutional investors. We see a tremendous opportunity for Europe to follow the example of the US, where institutional investment in fragmented properties has scaled from nearly $0 to $40 billion in ten years.” 

Also joining the equity round are prominent investors, including Armilar Venture Partners (leading Portuguese VC behind unicorns Outsystems and Feedzai), Amavi Capital (pan-European Proptech fund) HJM Holdings, 1Sharpe (founders of Roofstock) and FJ Labs (Fabrice Grinda, founder of OLX Group), as well as existing investor Lakestar.

This isn’t just another data aggregator – it’s an entire operating system that powers real estate agents in real-time, removing asymmetry of knowledge, accelerating transactions and opening up new opportunities for iBuyers, property developers, investors and Q-commerce operators and beyond to reach their investment objectives.” says Stephen Nundy, partner at Lakestar. 

“We started CASAFARI with a mission to organise the real estate market into an efficient data-powered ecosystem to enable and accelerate deals through a transparent and safe B2B platform”, says Mila Suharev, CASAFARI’s Co-CEO and CPO. “This capital raise will help us execute on our planned expansion into Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK, establishing ourselves as a dominant pan-European network of real estate professionals.”

According to Nils Henning, CEO, “CASAFARI has built a unique ecosystem, which connects brokers, developers, asset managers and investors and enables sourcing, valuation, underwriting and deal collaboration on single units in all asset classes. We are very excited to represent important institutional clients like Stoneweg and others, in deploying their capital into fragmented acquisitions at scale, bringing more liquidity to the market and generating more transactions to the broker clients of our platform.”

About CASAFARI: 

CASAFARI, Europe’s first independent cross-border real estate network, connects more than 15,000 real estate professionals through MLS functions and a clean and complete real estate database covering all asset classes in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal, CASAFARI developed custom applications such as a metasearch, comparative market analysis, market analytics, and daily data feed. The company has a proprietary machine learning technology and extensive data operations to automatically index, clean, classify and match duplicates of millions of property listings from thousands of websites in different languages. Since launching in 2018, CASAFARI has won major clients from brands such as Sotheby’s International Realty, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX franchises, Savills, Fine & Country, Engel & Voelkers, Keller Williams and important institutional investors and developers like Stoneweg, Kronos, Vanguard and Vic Properties. 

About Prudence Holdings: 

Prudence is a leading early-stage investment firm based in New York, focused on finding innovative technology companies at the intersection of real estate and financial services. The firm gets involved early, partnering with experienced and visionary entrepreneurs, and helps to guide companies from venture to growth stage and through exit. Founded in 2010, Prudence has deployed over $100mm into over 25 companies including investments in industry-leaders such as Compass, Blockchain.com, CREXi, Sundae, Morty, Properly and Maxwell. For more information on Prudence, please visit prudenceholdings.com.

About Lakestar: 

Lakestar is one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms investing in technology companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs. The team’s early investments included Skype, Spotify, Facebook and airbnb. Since raising a first fund in 2013, Lakestar manages an aggregated volume of over EUR 1bn across three early stage funds, and more recently a growth fund. The company has expanded and broadened its portfolio and holds investments in the likes of Opendoor, Oscar, GYG, Glovo, Sennder, Eigen, FiveAI, Revolut and Hometogo to name a few. Lakestar has presence in Berlin, Zurich and London. Lakestar helps companies to identify new markets and expand into them rapidly, with a focus on the US and Europe. The team advises and supports portfolio companies in business development, recruitment, technology and marketing. The investments range from early stage companies to those in their growth stage. Visit us on LinkedIn and our website.

About Armilar Venture Partners: 

Armilar Venture Partners is Portugal’s leading VC funds manager. An independent VC with a history of more than 20 years, a high-performance track record and an international footprint, Armilar is a deep-tech investor, with a focus on early-stage technology-based companies where data, digitisation and connectivity play a central role. Currently, Armilar’s funds under management amount to about €260 million, deployed typically as lead investor in seed to early-stage deals in companies in Portugal, Europe and the USA. For more information please visit www.armilar.com.

The Armilar Venture Partners TechTransfer Fund is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing. The fund is also co-financed by Fundo de Capital e Quase Capital (FC&QC), managed by Banco Português de Fomento, S.A.

Investment platform AMAVI Capital launches pan-European PropTech fund of EUR 60 million

First capital round successfully completed with private and real estate investors 

Investment platform AMAVI Capital has raised more than EUR 30 million from both private and real estate linked investors for its new pan-European PropTech Fund in the first capital round in recent months. It is the first property technology fund in the Benelux and distinguishes itself by bringing together real estate, technology and private equity expertise. The AMAVI PropTech Fund will ultimately invest EUR 60 million in promising scale-ups that are providing innovation within the real estate and construction sector. AMAVI, for example, is now a shareholder in the Belgian company Shayp, which specialises in automatic water leak detection, Finch Buildings, the Dutch expert in CLT modular construction, and the Finnish 3D specialist Gbuilder.

“In the coming years, we will further expand our portfolio to some 15 investments in innovative companies that are capable of making the real estate sector more sustainable, efficient and customer-friendly,” said managing partners Arne Allewaert and Frederic Van den Weghe.

With the first PropTech fund in the Benelux to bring together real estate, technology and private equity, we are committed to combining European real estate expertise and capital. We are convinced that we can be the central cog that develops promising scale-ups into mature PropTech companies that bring real change to the sector, both in terms of sustainability and efficiency,” said Arne Allewaert and Frederic Van den Weghe, managing partners of AMAVI Capital. “This change is also vital. In a sector responsible for no less than 40% of all global CO2 emissions, the need for sustainable solutions is high. It is also no longer possible to reconcile the fact that the immense construction and real estate world – 60% of all assets worldwide are real estate – is also one of the least digitalised sectors. Productivity in the construction sector has actually declined over the past 50 years.

Meanwhile, the new PropTech fund has successfully completed its first capital round and raised over 30 million euros. The investor base is deliberately made up of investors from all areas of the real estate and construction industry. These include real estate investors, project developers, contractors, property managers, estate agents and architects. This unique mix of expertise is also reflected by the founders of AMAVI Capital. Arne Allewaert, Davy Demuynck and Kristof Vanfleteren earned their stripes in the real estate world with the fast-growing Belgian property developer ION. Frederic Van den Weghe (ex Waterland and Gilde Equity Management) and Paul Thiers (serial investor) can rely on their experience in private equity, while Jonas Dhaenens has proven himself in the technology sector with the development of the first Belgian “unicorn” team.blue.

The investment fund is worth EUR 60 million and thus primarily aims to build a bridge between the traditional real estate world and the “new school” PropTech companies. Since last year, AMAVI Capital has screened more than 200 companies and invested in Belgium’s Shayp, the Netherlands’ Finch Buildings and Finland’s Gbuilder.

Smart investment in sustainable solutions for the construction and real estate sector

The focus of AMAVI Capital’s investment strategy is primarily on European PropTech scale-ups that are active in making real estate and the construction process more sustainable or in big data analytics in order to achieve smart insights into the market and buildings. Companies that focus on improving customer experience and ConTech (Construction Technology) players that focus on specific efficiencies in the construction process round off the list. The theme of “sustainability” is the connecting factor between all these PropTech players. New technologies allow scarce space to be used more efficiently and buildings to be designed, built, managed and used more sustainably.

For example, AMAVI Capital invests in Shayp, a Belgian PropTech company that developed an automatic water leak detection system for large buildings. Specifically, this is smart software that allows water consumption to be tracked in real time and consumption data to be analysed so that leaks can be quickly detected and identified.

More sustainable alternatives, however, also emerge during the construction process. The Amsterdam-based company  Finch Buildings successfully developed a modular construction system in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), enabling it to “prefabricate” large buildings – up to 16 storeys high – for assembly on site. The CO2-negative nature of wood, the healthier indoor climate of wooden buildings, a more efficient construction process and the circular aspect of modular construction make this construction process particularly sustainable. A good reason for AMAVI Capital to invest in this promising PropTech company.

“It is clear that we are aiming at the whole property value chain. So not only on buildings or their production, but also for example on an improved customer experience and communication between different links in the real estate process, a clear need from the market,” said Arne Allewaert and Frederic Van den Weghe, managing partners of AMAVI Capital.

Another good example is the Finnish company Gbuilder in which AMAVI Capital participates. Using the BIM software developed by the company, buyers of a new house or flat can make their finishing choices online and in a 3D environment, and they not only get an immediate view of the visual impact, but also of the price tag and the ecological impact of their choices. Moreover, their choices are automatically pushed to all parties involved on the site, which makes work much more efficient. Thereafter, all the technical information is also contained in the BIM model, which is of great value during the further life cycle of the building.

In the coming years, AMAVI Capital intends to expand its portfolio to some 15 investments in European innovative companies capable of making a significant impact on the sector.

Finch Buildings joins AMAVI Capital for accelerated growth

AMSTERDAM – Amsterdam [March 17th] — With the registration of the shares, it is officially confirmed: the Belgian AMAVI Capital and the Dutch company FinchBuildings are starting a close cooperation. With this deal AMAVI offers the Dutch company Finch Buildings the opportunity to switch from linear to exponential growth

Circular Disruption in Construction

The real estate sector can operate with more efficiency and in faster ways due to the smooth adoption of technology and innovation. AMAVI’s investment in Finch Buildings fits perfectly in the Belgian company’s strategy. Finch Buildings is a disruptor in the conservative construction sector. The new platform of the innovative company gives substance to a new reality: to build circular, off-site and CO2-positive. 

In Europe, the construction sector is responsible for 36% of the CO2 ’s emissions. Half of the raw materials that arrive at the construction site are thrown away and an average of one-third of the tasks must be carried out again. Finch’s modular buildings are manufactured in a controlled factory environment, ensuring delivery on time, on budget and error-free. Finch Buildings has developed a platform: a library of standard components by which buildings can be ‘composed’. This eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel with each new construction project.

At the same time, Finch’s system gives a lot of architectural freedom, but always starts from a number of standardized components. Finch’s modules are made of solid wood (CLT or “Cross Laminated Timber”). This material is entirely renewable and circular and creates a healthy living environment for its users. In the Netherlands, the modules are assembled by De Groot Vroomshoop, member of Volker Wessels. The projects that are built with the Finch modules are multi-storey buildings such as apartment buildings, office buildings or hotels. At this moment, the system has allowed to develop buildings up to sixteen storeys high. In the Netherlands Finch Buildings has realized about 1,000 modules including those scheduled for 2021.

Pionier

The Amsterdam-based Finch Buildings has been ahead of the market with its modular and circular platform established in 2014. Together with AMAVI, the scale-up organization is now accelerating the development of its platform and is therefore in the lead as a company building with wood. The innovations and technology developed by Finch Buildings are available to architects and developers and can therefore be adopted by the market more quickly. In this way, Finch Buildings is contributing to the shift towards sustainable building as commonplace. A goal that is inherent in Finch Buildings’ DNA.

Growth capital for Finch Buildings

Amavi’s investment offers Finch Buildings not only the possibility to accelerated investments in the Finch Platform, but also to build a network to be able to operate outside of the Netherlands. Serving the Belgian market – in which circular building is now high on the agenda – is a first step towards internationalization. 

Jurrian Knijtijzer, founder of Finch Buildings, is excited about this next step: “AMAVI Capital offers Finch Buildings more than an investment. It is a partner that actively participates and shares its network. We look forward to working with them to increase our impact. The time of pioneering is behind us, now we are going to scale up.”

Frederic Van den Weghe, managing partner of AMAVI, adds: ‘There is more concrete mass than biomass in this world and Finch Buildings wants to change this: the concept of Finch’s system with solid wood is highly scalable and provides answers to the growing need for high-quality and sustainable housing, offices, schools and care properties, and thanks to its modular nature, it can be used both temporarily and permanently. 

Internationalisation

Finch Buildings is first looking at projects in Belgium, but also wants to conquer other promising markets such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Per region Finch Buildings will source contractors and partners to manufacture the modules.

If you wouId like to know what FinchBuildings can do for your next project, please visit www.finchbuildings.com or send a message to info@finchbuildings.com.


About Finch Buildings:

Finch Buildings is working towards a future in which buildings are a solution to the climate problem. Buildings that are developed in a modular way and that can be adapted to their surroundings and circumstances.

With Finch Buildings, sustainable living should be available to everyone. Only then will we be able to make the greatest impact possible: reducing the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, thereby contributing to restoring the balance of the planet. 


About AMAVI Capital

AMAVI is an independent Pan-European investor that was established to support the growth of the most prominent leading and promising companies active in the PropTech sector, focusing geographically on the Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and France.

AMAVI wants to build a bridge between the traditional real estate sector on one hand and the most pioneering European PropTech companies on the other, through its combined expertise and network from the real estate, technology and investment world. AMAVI works with the players who are shaping tomorrow’s real estate world, creating companies that radically transform the places where we live, work and relax today.

Construction technology company GBuilder raises €2M for international expansion

Finnish ConTech company GBuilder has completed a €2M financing round led by Amavi Capital with participation from existing investors Butterfly Ventures and Vendep Capital. The funds will be used to accelerate international expansion in their target markets which include the UK and DACH.

“We quickly found common ground with AMAVI. In addition to capital, they bring in a huge amount of industry know-how and networks. The partnership enables faster growth in international markets.” says Harri Majala, CEO of GBuilder.

GBuilder’s product is a BIM-compatible software for residential and commercial developers that digitizes the customer journey, material selections and modifications, visualizations, inspections, and communication processes. With over 30.000 housing units being processed on the platform, the software is already widely used by Scandinavia’s largest residential developers, such as YIT, Bonava, and Hartela, but also in countries like the UK, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, Baltics and Slovakia.

“The international construction industry is now clearly undergoing a period of transition in terms of both practices and values.” analyzes Jarmo Ollila, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. “The challenge is dual: to provide a unique customer experience while managing internal processes reliably and efficiently. We can provide a unique solution that creates benefits for the whole value chain.”

“GBuilder’s proven traction in Europe convinced us of the company’s growth potential, AMAVI Capital sees an exceptional tool that generates a unique customer experience, while at the same time streamlining the complex execution processes in the back-office and on the construction site. In the construction industry, the company’s holistic BIM-based approach is exceptional and the benefits it brings are not only diverse but also indisputable,” Arne Allewaert, managing partner at AMAVI Capital comments.

Finnish ConTech company GBuilder has completed a €2M financing round led by Amavi Capital with participation from existing investors Butterfly Ventures and Vendep Capital. The funds will be used to accelerate international expansion in their target markets which include the UK and DACH.

For more information, please visit https://gbuilder.com/

For any inquiries, please contact;
Harri Majala, CEO & Founder
harri@gbuilder.com
+358 44 556 2940

About AMAVI Capital
AMAVI is a Pan-European investor established to support growth of the leading and most promising companies active in the PropTech industry, with a geographical focus on the Benelux, Nordics, Germany, Switzerland and France. AMAVI aims to create a bridge between the traditional real estate industry and the most groundbreaking European PropTech companies, by leveraging its combined expertise and network from the real estate, technology and private equity industry. https://amavi.capital/

About Vendep Capital
Vendep Capital Oy is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in fast-growing SaaS companies. Vendep Capital has 40 million euros under management. The funds were raised from Finnish private and institutional investors such as Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment) and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. https://www.vendep.com/

About Butterfly Ventures
Butterfly Ventures is one of the leading seed stage focused VCs in the Nordics and Baltics. Right now Butterfly Ventures invests into deep tech and hardware startups. Butterfly Ventures has 30 million euros under management and the partner team has so far invested into 84 companies. Butterfly Ventures was founded in 2012 and it has offices in Oulu, Helsinki and Stockholm. https://butterfly.vc

AMAVI Capital believes in the growth of real estate technology

In the beginning of 2020, six entrepreneurs founded AMAVI Capital. This European investment fund focuses on real estate technology, also known as PropTech. Arne Allewaert, who helped start up ION and helped it to grow, is one of them. Although he is making a new start with AMAVI, he is sticking by his existing values regarding innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. Together with his partner Frederic Van den Weghe, he explains why they believe in real estate technology.

How do you define real estate technology?

Frederic: “Real estate technology is about digitization and innovation in all of the real estate and construction sectors’ processes. This ranges from prospecting for land, through the construction and sales processes to the management and use of a building. One example is a Paris company that collects data such as prices, demographics, and permissible construction heights and depths. They combine these data to develop a tool that lets you search for the most interesting plots throughout France. For example, there may be a plot of land with a three-storied building, in a place where the law allows you to build one with six. This tool will then automatically generate building volumes, make financial feasibility studies, and also contains the contact details of the landowners.”

Where does the idea of investing in that sector come from?

Arne: “Everyone knows we are not sustainable today. The construction and real estate sectors are responsible for 40% of global emissions. More and more companies realize that it’s time for a change. Real estate technology can help find sustainable construction methods or reduce energy and water consumption in buildings. We recognize that the real estate sector is the next one that needs to innovate, so digitization is almost a no-brainer. We like to compare PropTech with the FinTech movement of recent years. After all, online banking and contactless payments are now the new normal.”

“We have created an ecosystem where the oldschool real estate world can connect with the new-school real estate technology.”, Arne Allewaert

What kind of investors are you aiming at?

Arne: “AMAVI is bringing together real estate, technology, and private equity. Our investors can also be found at that intersection, from real estate developers to construction companies and technology companies to more traditional investors. They are companies that already have a sense of innovation. We don’t want to be a fund that merely raises capital, makes investments, and yields returns. AMAVI wants to create an ecosystem where the old-school real estate world can connect with the new-school real estate technology. The investors will also assess their own investments, which makes it very relevant.

You started in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. How did that go?

Frederic: “Of course, last year’s investment climate was a lot better, but there’s still a lot of interest. The investment market is not static but is shifting its focus. The coronavirus crisis has accelerated technological changes. For example, take the notarial profession. For many years, it was impossible to buy real estate without being physically present at the table. You can now give an electronic power of attorney and buy or sell via videocall in just a few weeks’ time. The COVID-19 crisis certainly has made real estate technology more interesting.”

Bundling of expertise

AMAVI has shareholders from three relevant sectors. Davy Demuynck, Kristof Vanfleteren and Arne Allewaert come from the real estate world. Frederic Van de Weghe and Paul Thiers have expertise in private equity, and Jonas Dhaenens has proven experience in the technology sector.

Shayp raises €1.9 Million to scale intelligent water-monitoring system for buildings

Shayp combines an easy to install sensor with advanced software analytics, allowing property owners to reduce water consumption by over 20%. As water shortages and costs are on the rise, Shayp transforms how the building sector addresses leakages and unnecessary water usage. The Brussels based company successfully completed their Seed Financing Round with new Investors SIGNA Innovations and AMAVI Capital onboard.

Smart funding for Shayp

Two European venture capital investors specialised in property technologies (PropTech) back Shayp to help accelerate and expand its water saving services across Europe towards private and public real-estate owners. Signa Innovations from Berlin, led Shayp’s Seed round with participation of AMAVI Capital from Belgium along with past investors and Finance&Invest.brussels closing the round at 1.9M€.

“The team has identified a key trend and has been able to show impressive traction presenting us with a clear growth strategy and exciting opportunity.” – says Juergen Fenk, CEO of Signa Innovations.

Water usage is a major concern for the building sector

Founded in 2017, Shayp was quick to assess that 1 in 3 buildings present costly leakages all year round, due to faulty plumbing, leaky toilets and compromised systems. These leakages can account for anywhere between 10% to 60% of the organisation’s water bill since a vast majority go unnoticed or unreported by personnel.

“The real estate sector accounts for over 70% of the water supply, making it a key player in addressing the increasing water shortages we are facing. This is where we want to help and make a difference.” – says Alex McCormack, CEO of Shayp.

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Pushing the boundaries in simplicity and performance

Shayp helps real-estate owners reduce water consumption in buildings by over 20% simply by addressing leakages and system discrepancies, and providing better control and insights on water usage overall. 

By combining a single sensor installed in less than 5 minutes and machine learning techniques, Shayp identifies leakages and system anomalies in real-time across the whole building water supply. An intuitive and comprehensive webapp immediately alerts staff and helps prioritise interventions cost-effectively. Users can track the history of the actions taken, the water saved and identify any further measures to improve water consumption.

“Shayp has developed an industry leading IoT enabled SaaS solution and was able to get an impressive market traction in a very short time period.” – Arne Allewaert, Managing Partner of AMAVI

Verified and proven results for Shayp’s customers

After raising their pre-seed round in April 2018, backed by Belgium based imec.istart & BEAngels, Shayp has helped public and private organisations save hundreds of thousands of euros annually, including municipalities, hospitals, offices, retailers, schools and multi-residential real estate owners. As an example, the City of Brussels set up a large action plan and is now saving over 50 million liters of water per year thanks to Shayp. The Solar Impulse Foundation, founded by Bertrand Piccard, awarded Shayp early this year with the Efficient Solution label after its proven benefits with the City of Brussels.

If you’re curious about how Shayp can help you improve water usage within your organisation, you can find them at www.shayp.com or simply send them a message to info@shayp.com

About Shayp

Shayp is a fast growing technology company based in Brussels that provides advanced software analytics for monitoring water consumption in buildings and infrastructures. They help property owners and managers reduce costs and time in relation to plumbing maintenance, water usage and operations thanks to high resolution monitoring and machine learning. Shayp was founded in October 2017 and aims to reduce water demand in the building sector by helping property owners better control water usage across their assets.

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About SIGNA

The SIGNA Group is a privately managed European investment and industrial holding company active in the real estate, retail and media business sectors. Since its foundation in 1999, SIGNA has succeeded in developing into a company of truly European scale and format. Today, SIGNA is one of Europe’s most important real estate investors and operates a number of reputable commercial concerns.

SIGNA Real Estate employs about 550 people at ten locations in Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The Gross Asset Value of the real estate group amounts to 18 billion euros, and the development volume amounts to twelve billion euros.

SIGNA Innovations plays a decisive role in the digitalisation of the real estate market. The company invests in leading early stage start-ups that create new, innovative ideas, platforms and business models within the PropTech, ConstructionTech and CleanTech sectors. SIGNA Innovations leverages its unique know-how and network to help founders scale their companies as well as offering interesting returns, and making SIGNA an innovation leader.

About AMAVI

AMAVI is an independent and dedicated Pan-European investor established to support growth of the leading and most promising companies active in the PropTech industry, with a geographical focus on the Benelux, Nordics, Germany, Switzerland and France. AMAVI aims to create a bridge between the traditional real estate industry on the one hand and the most groundbreaking European PropTech companies on the other hand, by leveraging on its combined expertise and network from the real estate, technology and private equity industry. AMAVI partners with the world-shapers, creating companies that radically change the places we live, work and relax in today.

Technologie en innovaties sneller laten doorsijpelen in vastgoedmarkt

Door verregaande digitaliseren en andere vernieuwingen vers bloed geven aan de vastgoedmarkt: dat is de ambitie van Amavi Capital. Het investeringsinitiatief werd opgericht door 6 partners om scale-ups actief in ‘PropTech’ (Property + Technology) op Europese schaal te laten doorgroeien. “Als de conservatieve vastgoedmarkt nog maar een fractie efficiënter zou worden, kan dat leiden tot veel besparingen. De timing is ook goed: de coronacrisis nodigt vastgoedondernemers uit om hun business opnieuw uit te vinden.”

Vastgoed is verbonden met andere sectoren die wel al volop digitaliseren, zoals de financiële wereld. Die zullen de vastgoedsector meetrekken in het digitale bad” Arne Allewaert, Amavi Capital

Amavi Capital bundelt het beste van 3 werelden: vastgoed, private equity en technologie. Arne Allewaert legt uit hoe zijn ‘geesteskind’ tot stand kwam. “Ik heb 10 jaar ervaring in de vastgoedsector, waarvan 8 bij ION. Daar kwam ik destijds als eerste medewerker het team van Davy Demuynck en Kristof Vanfleteren versterken. Na samen met hen heel wat watertjes te hebben doorzwommen, kwam ik tot de conclusie dat de vastgoedsector veel efficiënter en sneller zou kunnen opereren door de vlottere adoptie van technologie en innovatie.

Veel ervaring aan boord

Allewaert deelt die visie met Frédéric Van den Weghe, die heel wat ervaring in private equity heeft. Hij was destijds een van de eerste medewerkers van de Belgische afdeling van Waterland, deed veel consolidatietrajecten binnen diverse sectoren en bouwde daarna ook als partner het Belgische kantoor van de Nederlandse private equity-speler Gilde Equity Management uit.

Hoe dan ook groeit de sector als kool. Of hij trekt toch in elk geval veel kapitaal aan. “Als je de investeringsactiviteit van proptech vergelijkt met die van de bekendere fintech, zie je dat proptech ongeveer vier jaar achteropligt”, zegt Arne Allewaert. “Maar het volgt hetzelfde steile groeipad.” Hij refereert aan cijfers van het dataplatform Venture Scanner over de toename van de wereldwijde investeringen in proptechbedrijven: van 1 miljard dollar in 2012 naar meer dan 15 miljard dollar in 2018.

Tegelijk wint de jonge sector aan maturiteit en neemt de erkenning in de klassieke vastgoedsector toe. Tekenend is de opmars van het Amerikaanse Fifth Wall, het grootste durfkapitaalfonds dat focust op proptech en dat wordt geruggensteund door meer dan vijftig zwaargewichten in de vastgoedsector, waaronder CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, British Land, Mariott, Macerich en Prologis. “Iedereen weet dat er efficiënter en professioneler kan worden gewerkt”, vervolgt Arne Allewaert. “Grote investeringsbeslissingen worden nog heel vaak genomen op basis van een buikgevoel in plaats van objectieve data-analyse. Nochtans is het een gigantische sector. Het Wereld Economisch Forum heeft samen met The Boston Consulting Group berekend dat een stijging van de productiviteit met 1 procent in de sector een besparing van 1 miljard dollar op jaarbasis oplevert. Dat geeft aan wat op het spel staat.”

“Om onze ambitie te realiseren, was het essentieel ook een expert uit de technologiewereld aan boord te halen. Dat is Jonas Dhaenens, frontman van team.blue, één van de grootste Europese Europese leveranciers voor domeinnamen en websitehosting Frederic Van den Weghe, Amavi Capital

Naast een zeer uitgebreid Europees netwerk, bouwde hij ook een schat aan expertise op in de consolidatie van de markt waarin hij actief is. Ook de 3 oprichters van ION (Davy Demuynck, Kristof Vanfleteren en Paul Thiers) stappen mee in ons verhaal, al staan we voor de rest volledig los van deze Waregemse projectontwikkelaar. Arne en ik staan in voor de dagelijkse operationele leiding, maar de ervaring én het netwerk van de andere partners zullen uiteraard voor een duidelijke meerwaarde zorgen in onze ambitie om een Europees PropTechfonds te creëren dat scale-ups zal ondersteunen in hun verdere groei.

Snellere digitalisering

Met de resultaten van enkele recente studies achter de hand, is het duo overtuigd dat ze met Amavi Capital voor een doorbraak kunnen zorgen. “Wereldwijd vertegenwoordigt de vastgoedmarkt een waarde van 230 biljoen dollar en 60% van alle assets. Helaas is het een sector met veel informatie-asymmetrie en weinig transparantie. Uit een onderzoek van McKinsey blijkt dat de bouw- en vastgoedsector zeer slecht scoren op vlak van digitalisering. Momenteel wordt er ook nog te weinig gedaan met de beschikbare data, voor heel veel beslissingen gaat men puur af op het buikgevoel”, gaat Arne verder.

In de toekomst zal dat sowieso moeten veranderen, vinden beide heren. “Vastgoedbedrijven spelen momenteel nog onvoldoende in op de verwachtingen van de jongere generaties, die zowat alles wat in hun leven gebeurt op digitale dragers volgen en meer flexibiliteit eisen. Die ervaring kan het gros van de vastgoedspelers vandaag onvoldoende bieden, waardoor ze moeten oppassen voor concurrentie van erg op technologie gerichte bedrijven, die de vastgoedmarkt zelf willen bespelen omdat ze er – terecht – veel potentieel in zien.” Daarom zijn ze er bij Amavi Capital rotsvast van overtuigd dat alle schakels uit het bouwproces zullen moeten optimaliseren, onder meer door sterk in te zetten op digitalisering. “Bovendien zal de sector ook antwoorden moeten vinden om haar gigantische impact op de CO 2 -uitstoot gevoelig te doen dalen én in te spelen op de sterk stijgende trend naar urbanisatie. Ook daar zijn momenteel heel wat bedrijven uit de PropTech-markt mee bezig. Het is onze bedoeling die momenteel erg gefragmenteerde markt te laten consolideren door gerichte investeringen in de meest beloftevolle bedrijven. In functie daarvan zijn we al met een aantal bedrijven in gesprek. De eerste participaties zullen er mogelijk snel aankomen. Momenteel investeren we nog met middelen van de oprichters, het fonds zelf staat in de startblokken. Daarvoor zullen we voornamelijk mikken op vastgoed gelinkte investeerders, om een brug te kunnen slaan tussen de klassieke vastgoedwereld en de nieuwe PropTech-wereld”, besluit Frédéric Van den Weghe.

Beloftevolle sector

In Europa zijn zo’n 3.000 PropTechbedrijven actief. Die Europese bedrijven vertegenwoordigen 40% van de wereldwijde PropTech-scene, maar ontvingen in 2018 maar 8% van de wereldwijde PropTech-funding. Amavi wil investeren in de meest beloftevolle bedrijven.

“De sector moet antwoorden vinden om de CO2-uitstoot te doen dalen én om in te spelen op de sterk stijgende trend naar urbanisatie.” Arne Allewaert en Frédéric Van den Weghe, Amavi Capital