So strong is the pull to the European startup scene that Venice, California-based VC firm Fifth Wall has announced the final close of an oversubscribed European-focused fund at €140 million. The fund is sector agnostic, however, it should be noted that the firms' primary focus lies in proptech, and is targeted at Series A to Series C rounds. Following a 2021 that saw Fifth Wall accrue $1.1 billion across its funds, the firm now holds approximately $3 billion in assets under management.
No longer happy playing second fiddle, 2021 was the year Europe finally took its place centre stage. With over $100 billion invested across the ecosystem, and the birth of 98 unicorns, it's becoming increasingly clear to investors, Europe is here to stay.
Zeroing in on the proptech sector, in particular, European startups represent approximately 20 percent of the industry globally, and in 2021 garnered over 200 deals worth €3.8 billion in venture investments.
With numbers like these, it’s fairly easy to see why not only homegrown investment houses, but those from far would be shortsighted not to be eyeballing our European shores. And wisely.
Having already posted investments in Spain’s Clikalia, and on-demand grocery juggernaut Gorillas, it would appear that Fifth Wall is tossing its hat into the overgrowing ring of North American investment firms that are crossing the Atlantic and going all in.
As a testament to their strategy, the certified B-corp Fifth Wall counts investments in a number of high-growth North American-based startups including Lime, Opendoor, and Hippo, and is now aiming to replicate this success in Europe. Starting with a modest figure of €140 million.
"The success of Fifth Wall's model is premised on identifying the leading proptech companies and accelerating their growth through Fifth Wall's global network of more than 90 strategic investors,” commented Fifth Wall co-founder Brendan Wallace. “Having so many of the leading European real estate firms supporting our European Fund will enable us to help accelerate the expansion of the proptech ecosystem in Europe and Israel."
Fifth Wall’s European fund will work out of London and be led by veteran investor and ex-Goldman Sachs professional Roelof Opperman and former McKinsey & Company executive and Fifth Wall Partner Miguel Nigorra Esteban.
Supporting Fifth Wall’s efforts, Aldar Properties, Azora Capital, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Conren Tramway, DAMAC Group, Gestilar, Inmobiliaria Colonial, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Knight Frank, MERLIN Properties, MOMENI Group, NEINVER, affiliates of Northwood Investors, Pecunia, PGIM Real Estate, Pontos Group, Redevco, SEGRO, and Tramway Capital all contributed to the raise.
"The value of being invested in Fifth Wall's European Real Estate Technology Fund is the early exposure to transformative proptech solutions and the guidance of the Fifth Wall team in exploring new ways to solidify Redevco's business model," concluded the urban real estate investment management company's Patrick Brenninkmeijer.