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CVC series, part 4: JLL Spark brings more than money

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It’s no secret that the best startups get to pick their investors. Rather than desperately seeking venture money, they have multiple offers in every funding round. At JLL Spark Global Ventures, we invest in promising startups that are revolutionizing the commercial real estate industry, and we want to invest in the very best of this group. So, if you’re one of these best-in-class startups, why should you choose JLL Spark as your partner? The answer is simple; we offer much more than money. 

But first, let’s talk about money. We invest our money just like any other proper venture capital fund. We seek the best terms we can get, while finding a balance between our needs and the entrepreneurs’ needs. There may be cheaper money out there, but it’s never as valuable as ours, because our money brings so many additional benefits. 

Those benefits start with industry knowledge. JLL is one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the world. With an employee base of over 100,000, JLL generates $20 billion in annual sales from 300 offices in 80 countries. We serve the world’s largest real estate owners and occupiers. Furthermore, our investment management division, LaSalle, has $80 billion in AUM. We bring the knowledge of this organization to every investment and provide strategic insights that few others can bring. 

Additionally, we bring distribution. At JLL Spark, we drive revenue to startups in the JLL Spark portfolio by connecting the startups to our customer base of the world’s largest real estate owners and occupiers, and by driving internal use at JLL and LaSalle. At JLL Spark, we have a dedicated growth team whose main focus is to ensure our portfolio companies grow faster. Our growth principals will become your trusted advisors, constantly bringing you new sales opportunities, and helping hone your marketing activities. 

Lastly, we bring powerful branding. Having JLL Spark as a partner in your cap table sends a tremendous signal to the market that you have been vetted by and work with the best in the industry. Our portfolio companies regularly use the JLL logo on their websites and in their pitch decks, and JLL is often called upon by our portfolio companies to serve as a reference for future customers. We gladly take these calls. 

One more thing to note is that at JLL Spark, we are always on the side of the entrepreneur. Although we are part of JLL, we are set up as a proper fund, and hence, we share the same goal with the entrepreneur to maximize enterprise value. We will never ask for commercial exclusivity, a put/call structure, a right of first refusal on a sale, or engage in any other rent-seeking behavior that would in any way diminish the value of your business. We want you to make the most money possible, because when you make the most money possible, so do we. 

If you are a top entrepreneur revolutionizing the commercial real estate market, and we haven’t yet spoken, please be in touch. We offer much more than money, namely: industry knowledge, distribution, and branding, and our money comes with zero corporate baggage. We look forward to connecting with you. 

Written by Sean Wright, Investment Principal at JLL Spark based in Frankfurt, Germany.

Interested in a strategic partnership with JLL Spark? Apply for an investment here.