VC viewpoint: MetaProp + JLL Spark

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Nicola Byrne in New York

While exploring MIPIM PropTech New York, PlaceTech chatted to senior figures from specialist funds MetaProp and JLL Spark to reflect on the main events of 2019 and where they will be focusing in 2020.

  • Zach Aarons, cofounder and partner of MetaProp
  • David Gerster, vice president of JLL Spark

During the event, a panel on VC perspectives looking at domestic and international markets gained insight from Aarons, alongside Gerster’s colleague Andrea Jang, head of growth at JLL Spark, Takeshi Kodama, executive manager at Mitsui Fudosan and Taylor Wescoatt, partner at Concrete VC.

Cybersecurity is a focus for developer Mitsui Fudosan, with a lot of talent coming from Israel, as a result of an “awesome level” of government support according to Wescoatt.

Looking towards markets yet to be fully untapped, Kodama said India is an interesting market, with Jang urging companies to look towards Canada, her home town, due to the good tech talent available, government support, access to the British Commonwealth and with French being a requirement, an easier route into France. Aarons added there are sub-markets within the US growing nicely, where valuations are more reasonable, such as Atlanta.

Despite the ‘WeWork situation’, the whole panel was convinced flex space will only continue to grow, and their dream CEO of WeWork? Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, for Wescoatt, Lisa Picard of EQ Office for Aarons and Jang, with Kodama believing Masayoshi Son should be the one “paying the sentence”.

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