Real estate tech venture capital firm and startup accelerator MetaProp is set to move beyond $100,000 checks with a new fund of $40 million that will back 40 early-stage companies.

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Real estate tech venture capital firm and startup accelerator MetaProp is set to move beyond $100,000 checks with a new fund of $40 million that will back 40 early-stage companies.

MetaProp partner Zak Schwarzman | Credit: MetaProp

The New York-based property tech (or “proptech”) backer is starting its second fund of $40 million for investments in real estate tech startups — a major leap from its first $5 million investment fund.

“It’s the next chapter in our ability to help grow the next generation of emerging real estate and property technology companies,” MetaProp partner Zak Schwarzman told Inman.

MetaProp runs a startup accelerator out of Columbia University for companies working on property tech, which includes everything from “dirt to disposition,” the investors say.

Some of MetaProp’s past investments include the insurance startup Jetty, the commercial appraisal firm Bowery, the title company Spruce and the property and parking management data tool Parkifi.

MetaProp has been writing checks for a little over three years, and its founders have been backing property tech startups as angel investors for almost five years before that. The investor focuses on early-stage startups in property tech around the world.

With its new $40 million fund, MetaProp will write checks between $150,000 and $2 million — a higher number than the investors’ previous limit, around $100,000.

The company has already made nine of its planned 40 investments. Six investments are in startups that went through the MetaProp accelerator from 2017 to 2018: the smart intercom startup Doorport, the real estate investor software platform Hoozip, the home equity startup Irene, the construction industry software platform OnSiteIQ, the retail industry artificial intelligence startup LocateAI, the property management AI platform Travtus and the Spanish parking startup WeSmartPark.

MetaProp partner Aaron Block | Credit: MetaProp

Outside of its accelerator, MetaProp has invested in the pop-up hotels startup WhyHotel and the real estate team collaboration tool Workframe. Its ninth investment isn’t public yet.

MetaProp is making new investments with its $40 million fund thanks to other investors, known as limited partners or LPs, who contribute to MetaProp’s own fund.

The accelerator and investor’s LPs are a mix of brokerages, private equity firms, developers, construction and engineering firms and asset managers, including RXR Realty, PGIM Real Estate, commercial brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, commercial real estate firm CBRE, real estate tech company JLL Spark and real estate software provider Altus Group.

“The MetaProp team has earned a reputation for being proptech’s early stage startup champions. The unique, community-driven approach to building and investing in tomorrow’s real estate technology entrepreneurs aligns with our partner-first model,” Cushman & Wakefield Chief Digital Officer Adam Stanley said in a statement.

With its smaller fund, MetaProp often wrote checks to get startups off the ground and then helped those companies connect with other investors to continue to grow.

With greater resources, the hope is that now MetaProp will be able to stay with companies it first backs in the very early stages as they grow to contribute to later Series A and Series B rounds.

But bigger resources doesn’t mean MetaProp is looking to get in on mega-investing like the iBuyer Opendoor’s recent $325 million funding round. MetaProp instead will stay focused on early-stage companies, trying to find the startup that will eventually bring on millions of its own.

“We’re just writing the checks we should have been writing all along,” MetaProp partner Aaron Block said.

Email Emma Hinchliffe

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