The name Brendan Wallace won’t mean much to most people, but his influence just greatly increased.
Alongside his co-founder Brad Griewe, he has raised $212m for a proptech fund.
This is their first official fund, after a few years of advising on proptech fundraising and participating in a number of successful investments.
To date they’ve overseen $60m of investments, of which they still control $28m, into companies such as VTS and Opendoor.
Alongside Thrive Capital – the venture fund founded by Josh Kushner – and Metaprop, the PiLabs of the US, they are part of a club of investors with seriously large amounts of money to help make proptech companies successful.
I’ve highlighted before how the ten largest Proptech investments in the world were all in the US last year. There’s no doubting that 2017 will be more of the same.
Between the two dedicated Proptech funds of PiLabs and ConcreteVC there is little money to go around. Companies they invest in are reliant on funding much more money elsewhere to be able to succeed.
And success is why Fifth Wall has raised so much money: they claim their investments to-date are worth $240m on paper.
So who is Brendan Wallace and why did so much money back his ability to invest?
Starting out as a Goldman Sachs banker Brendan soon founded a big data company called Identified.
His Identified journey was whirlwind: raising a reported $22.5m before subsequently being acquired by software giant Workday.
Post cashing out of Identified, Brendan has been angel investing. Most notably he made money from investing in DollarShaveClub which was famous for a certain video.
That video propelled the company to a $1bn sale to Unilever. Video done right matters. Just ask Purplebricks and their almost £1bn valuation.
Back to Brendan, here’s a quote from Cameron Winklevoss – yes, one of the twins who sued Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for allegedly ripping off Harvard Connection:
Brendan and I have invested in several deals together and plan to do more in the future. He brings the unique perspective of a founder with an exit (Identified) and a very active angel portfolio that he has been building for years.
Success attracts more success.
VTS and Hightower in the US are seen as successful because they merged. A deal reported to be worth $300m on paper.
Purplebricks was deemed a success because it IPOed and then the stock price went up (after briefly going down). Regardless of the underlying business, perception of success is success.
Is it a coincidence that there haven’t been any UK proptech successes beyond those of the purple persuasion?
Last week’s Future Proptech conference was incredibly well attended with almost 900 people.
But there was little to celebrate. No deals, no big names.
UK proptech and all associated with it are the height of small thinking and often-ignored hype.
Both Ros and I would love to feature incredible innovation and interested proptech deals.
Here’s hoping some of this US money makes a splash here, so we have big UK Proptech stories to write about. Beyond Zoopla and Purplebricks.
Here’s the Fifth Wall press release: http://www.thenewsfunnel.com/press-release/introducing-fifth-wall-ventures