JLL makes a ‘significant’ global move on proptech development

Real estate firm launches JLL Spark to "identify and deliver new technology-driven real estate service offerings"

New York listed real estate giant JLL has announced “a significant addition” to its endeavours in proptech, launching JLL Spark; “a global business that will identify and deliver new technology-driven real estate service offerings.”

The new division will be led by co-CEOs Mihir Shah and Yishai Lerner from San Francisco, and aims to “ensure that JLL and its clients benefit from technology-driven transformation by building a team that will create new products, make strategic investments and incubate proptech startups”.

Shah joins from Groupon, where he was Vice President and General Manager of Mobile. He was previously CEO and co-founder of Mob.ly (subsequently acquired by Groupon), and has been in the Silicon Valley arena for some time, getting involved at relatively early investment stages in start-ups including Uber and Yahoo!

Lerner was co-founder of several successful start-ups including Mob.ly (acquired by Groupon), Detour and CarrierIQ (acquired by AT&T). He was also the first engineer at Core Mobility (acquired by Smith Micro) and an early (angel) investor in tech companies such as Uber and Boom Supersonic.

In 2015, $1.9bn was invested in real estate technology companies around the world – and that number rose 36% in 2016 to $2.6bn

JLL estimates that, in 2015, $1.9bn was invested in real estate technology companies around the world – and that number rose 36% in 2016 to $2.6bn. The firm is already in deep in the proptech world, having created advanced data analytics tools and acquired software and technology integration companies like ATG, BRG and Corrigo.

JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich: “Today’s launch will accelerate JLL’s drive to be the clear global leader in digital real estate services.  Combining Mihir’s and Yishai’s digital business expertise and record of successes with JLL’s leading global and deep market knowledge will allow us to introduce even more digital tools and data insights to help our clients achieve their ambitions. With its entrepreneurial, start-up approach, JLL Spark will differentiate JLL and lead our company and our clients into new solutions.”

Mihir Shah, co-CEO JLL Spark: “Just as technology is transforming many traditional industries across the business world, such as transportation, the time is right to make change happen for real estate.”

Yishai Lerner, co-CEO JLL Spark: “JLL’s commitment to technology has already had a large impact. By joining the company, we have an exciting opportunity to build an incredible team and help realize JLL’s hunger and aspirations for greater innovation.”