Blackstone Jon Korngold

Blackstone launches growth equity vehicle

The investment firm, with $457bn in assets under management in total and $120bn in real estate, has hired a senior figure from growth equity firm, General Atlantic, which provides capital and strategic support for companies, to head a new a business that will invest in fast-growing companies.

Jon Korngold will join the firm as a senior managing director and head of Blackstone’s growth equity investing platform, after 18 years at General Atlantic. During his time there, Jon sourced billions of dollars of growth equity investments across technology services, enterprise software, healthcare, financial services and consumer sectors.

Growth equity is a type of private investment in established companies, with proven profitability, that are looking for capital to grow their business, whether that’s expanding operations, entering new markets or financing an acquisition without changing the control in the business.

At Blackstone, Jon will be responsible for building and running the new platform which will provide capital to companies during the critical phase between venture capital investments and traditional buyouts.

Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone chairman, CEO and co-founder, called Jon a “dynamic veteran” and praised his “successful track record” in investing in and building scale businesses, and added that the platform is a “natural extension” of the company’s existing businesses.

Jon Gray, Blackstone president and chief operating officer, believes Jon is the “ideal leader” for the new platform and his “deep expertise” is the tech sector will strengthen Blackstone’s capabilities.

Korngold said he was looking forward to working for a company with the “geographic reach and global operating resources” of Blackstone.

Due to Blackstone’s large and global real estate portfolio, the company is expected to invest in property technology . In response to the news Philip Russo, founding partner of Metaprop, an early stage proptech VC, said that the new platform is a “gigantic gamechanger for startups including proptech.”

Blackstone has already invested in proptech companies including VTS, a commercial lease management software firm, which centralises critical data and workflows in one place for landlords and agency brokers.

District, an artificial intelligence platform which provides landlords with data insight and creates smarter buildings, has been integrated into 2 Blackstone buildings – one in Chiswick Park, London and the other in the Howards Hughes Centre, LA.

More recently, Blackstone has signed up tenant engagement platform, Equiem, for commercial offices owned by the landlord in Dublin, Ireland.

The firm has also sponsored New York Real Estate Tech week in 2018, and hosted one of Metaprop’s annual demo days where proptech startups pitch to a crowd of investors and real estate executives.

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