London VC firm A/O launches €250m fund for proptech start-ups

31 Jul 2023

Image: A/O

The second fund by A/O will focus on start-ups in the UK, Europe and North America building tech across everything from digitisation and automation to AI.

A/O, one of Europe’s largest proptech VC firms, has launched a new €250m fund to invest in start-ups creating technologies that make the real estate industry less harmful to the climate.

Real estate is one of the world’s most valuable markets, estimated to reach $613trn this year. It is also one of the least digitised and most polluting industries, accounting for a major chunk of global carbon emissions.

Based in London, A/O hopes the first close of its flagship Fund II will provide capital to start-ups that are aiming to accelerate energy transition and digitalisation in real estate and construction. The firm typically invests in seed to Series B start-ups across Europe, the UK and North America.

“The built world is facing what many consider to be an existential threat, with a storm of challenges, including rising interest rates, rampant inflation and tightening environmental regulations,” A/O wrote in its announcement on Friday (28 July).

“Without rapid adoption of technology that mitigates the impact of the built world on the planet, the relevance and survival of many of the built world’s incumbents could be severely challenged.”

The latest fund will invest in a range of areas, including supply chain, new materials, architecture, engineering, construction, building operations and management, decarbonisation, digitisation, automation and big data management through a mix of software, hardware, deeptech and AI.

The A/O Fund I that was lunched in 2020 invested in 22 companies including California-based housing electrification start-up Span, UK-based earth observation firm Satellite Vu, US-based AI firm PassiveLogic, Spanish timber prefab developer 011H and UK-based proptech Plentific.

Some of the VC firm’s portfolio companies have gone on to attract global later stage investors including Coatue, Target Global, Brookfield, Wellington Management, Highland Europe and Nvidia, among others.

Gregory Dewerpe, founder and CIO of A/O, said that the emergence of AI in the “built world” is showing very “promising potential” to accelerate the transition to automation, efficiency and transparency across the entire life cycle of assets and “power the next wave of adoption”.

“We believe the transition of the built world is the most tangible way to tackle climate change today and with this new fund we will continue to dedicate our time, resources and attention to it,” he said.

“The more challenging market conditions of the last 18 months have been a great reminder for many that being a specialist firm with deep expertise, backing technology that matters and aiming to solve mission-critical problems is a good place to be in.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic