Family Office Real Estate

Family group back proptech fund

Pi Labs, an investor in tech-driven ventures for property investors, has won backing from Gaedeke, a US family enterprise, for its third institutional fund.

Pi has already received support from Elkstone Partners, an Irish multi-family office business started by Alan Merriman. Commercial investors include Helical and Moorfield, both property companies. They are all backing Pi’s ability to achieve efficiencies in areas like environmental and site management.

The business was founded in 1995 when Sterner’s father, a German property developer, asked her to evaluate some buildings in Dallas he had acquired

Gaedeke’s chief executive is Sabine Gaedeke Stener, who oversees group operations, comprising three million square feet of prime office space, plus oil and gas investments.

The business was founded in 1995 when Sterner’s father, a German property developer, asked her to evaluate some buildings in Dallas he had acquired. She soon realised they needed a lot of tidying up, and put together a US management company to look after them. 

The business, Gaedeke, went on to acquire further US properties, in a partnership with a German bank. When the bank decided to exit, Gaedeke sold the assets but retained US property on its own account.

Stener’s early career was as a director of marketing at media group Bertelsmann.  In running Gaedeke, she became an early adopter of a sustainable approach to properties. She is alert to the impact of technology: “The way we interact with the built environment is changing massively.”

Faisal Butt, founder of Spire Ventures, started PI Labs in 2015. It claims to be the first venture capital business in Europe to invest exclusively in proptech.

It seeks to introduce real estate investors to new applications, and vice versa. Covid 19 has lately become an important area of concern. The firm currently invests in more than 50 investments with a total value of £450 million.

Initiatives backed by Pi Labs include Plentific, a tool that diagnoses requirements for repair and maintenance. Earlier this year, it raised $100 million in a funding round led by Brookfield Technology and Highland Europe.

Another opportunity, Landtech, has found ways to unlock land for development via systems that manage the acquisition and planning process.  It has been involved in the development of 10,000 UK homes.

Generation Home is an online mortgage lender, giving first-time buyers the chance to get involved in the fractional ownership of property with friends and family.

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