To kick off the series with a bang, I sat down with Guy Grainger, CEO of JLL in EMEA. JLL is a notable frontrunner in the PropTech space, being one of the first real estate incumbents to set up a strategic venture fund, JLL Spark -which launched its $100 million global investment fund last June. We established JLL Spark as part of JLL’s broader “Buy, build, partner, integrate” digital strategy. Through JLL Spark we make strategic investments but it is also a partnership with PropTech startups. Unlike typical corporate venture capital, JLL Spark is a relatively independent division with autonomy over its investment decisions so that it pushes the broader JLL organization to be a technology-first business and build on JLL’s existing technology capabilities. On the topic of real estate transactions, JLL Spark’s investment into Hubble marked the first time that we invested in a disruptive business model. Guy Grainger is CEO for EMEA at JLL. After earning a degree in valuation and estate management, he started off professionally at a retail-property company in 1989 and continued working in the sector for two decades. Guy joined JLL as the head of UK retail in 2008 as part of a corporate acquisition.
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