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JLL Spark Investments Drive Innovation for JLL and Our Clients  

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The rate of change in today’s business environment poses a huge challenge just to keep up. At JLL, we understand the importance of embracing innovation and harnessing emerging technologies to drive growth and deliver exceptional value to our clients. JLL Spark Global Ventures, the corporate venture arm of JLL, has an investment team that actively seeks out best of breed technologies, based on specific investment themes. These themes not only reflect PropTech market trends, such as sustainability or the future of work, but also represent areas where we believe transformative solutions can effectively address both JLL’s needs, as well as those of our clients, employing technologies such as AI and IoT. 

Investment team: Delivering innovation through strategic investments 

At the heart of our investment strategy lies a dedicated team of experts who are constantly on the lookout for investment opportunities that align with our Spark investment themes. These themes encompass various sectors of PropTech as outlined below. By actively tracking market trends and emerging technologies, our investment team aims to identify disruptive startups and innovative companies that have the potential to reshape the real estate industry. 

The investment team leverages their deep industry knowledge, extensive networks, and a rigorous due diligence process to evaluate potential investment targets. Their goal is to identify startups that not only demonstrate strong growth potential, but also align with JLL’s core values and strategic objectives. By investing in these ventures, we aim to foster mutually beneficial partnerships that can bring about transformative change and enhance our ability to deliver valuable solutions to our clients. 

Innovation team: Identifying pain points and solutions 

To ensure that our investment team is well-informed and equipped to seek out the most relevant investment opportunities, we have established an innovation team within Spark. This team is tasked with identifying pain points and challenges within our own organization and those of our clients, and seeking opportunities for continuous improvement, driving solutions that can boost revenue, improve efficiencies, productivity, and/or reduce costs. As an example, the innovation team has worked closely with the account managers for the large investment banks to help deliver innovation workshops to clients who subsequently tested Spark portfolio company technologies such as Saltmine, VergeSense, and Turntide to help solve their challenges. 

The innovation team acts as a bridge between the investment team and the various business units at JLL. We collaborate with employees across various departments to identify challenges that may relate to client experience, operational efficiency, sustainability, or any other area where innovative solutions can create value. The innovation team gains valuable insights into the pain points faced by our clients, the product roadmaps that are being developed to address those needs, and potential white spaces that are ripe for investments. This information is then shared with the investment team, enabling them to focus on sourcing startups and solutions that address these specific challenges holistically with the support of the business. For example, the innovation team partnered with the JLLT Data organization to identify a generative AI technology that can potentially be used to augment its Azara data platform that could provide enhanced action-based insight for clients to make business-driven decisions.  

Partnership is the key to success 

At JLL, we believe that innovation can arise both internally and externally. Whether a startup is sourced within JLL or found elsewhere, our Spark growth team plays a vital role in partnering with each startup to support their growth journey with JLL. 

JLL Spark is committed to fostering innovation and investing in transformative solutions that address the evolving needs of the real estate industry. With our investment team actively seeking out opportunities, our innovation team identifying pain points, and our growth team supporting startups, we are well-positioned to drive positive change and deliver value to our clients while contributing revenue traction to our portfolio companies.  

Written by Danny Klein, Innovation Lead at JLL Spark

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