COVID-19 has stirred up the long-settled dust on real estate investing, which could paint a bright future with promising – yet different – projects for developers, startups and investors. Point72 Ventures, the early-stage investment firm that’s now solely investing the personal wealth of the multi-billionaire hedge fund magnate Steven A. Cohen, is getting into healthcare investing. The firm has hired Scott Barclay, a former partner at the life sciences and frontier technology investment firm DCVC, to run its new healthcare practice. Because the investment […] Velodyne’s guidance update was a good one, and the merger remains on track.
Jan Večerka is the CEO and founder of BrikkApp, a Europe-based company that connects investors with property investment platforms from all across the world helping them to make the right choice.
Two in five people would never invest their money — but those who would are most likely to invest in properties. This is the conclusion of a recent survey by Hargreaves Lansdown, and it shows that unless you invested in the stocks of a few companies like Amazon, PayPal, Apple or Nvidia, real estate has proven to be one of the most reliable investment options.
The last months have seen a global outpouring of cash deposits estimated at around $2 trillion and savvy investors are eager to score the best opportunities. However, is the real estate market well equipped to capture a substantial part of this sum, considering the current context of the pandemic?
The truth is, that COVID-19 has stirred up the long-settled dust on real estate investing. This could paint a bright future with promising – yet different – projects for developers, startups and investors.
When it comes to digitization, real estate certainly hasn’t been one of the frontrunners. However, this could all change now. COVID-19 has brought novel challenges, and technology has stepped up to offer the solutions.
Yet, in a sense, innovation is competing with time. The longer the pandemic drags on, the higher the chance that digitization initiatives will stick around for the long run. After all, it’s one thing to make short-term fixes by substituting a home viewing with a detailed video, and quite another rolling out an entirely new process that uses drone-supported imagery, satellite viewings and virtual tools to promote an entire portfolio. Either way, it’s clear that the pandemic has pushed real estate toward a cultural change centered around a greater reliance on technology.
This is great news for proptech, a sector that seeks to disrupt and improve the way we buy, rent, sell, design, construct, manage and invest in residential and commercial property. Since 2013, annual investment in U.S. proptech companies has grown at a rate five times that of investment in all U.S. businesses. So, being one of the fastest developing business sectors, proptech will maintain a strong momentum throughout COVID-19, especially when prioritizing products and services that save people time and money.
Along the way, it’s turning to the major technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, including the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, and much more. So, how specifically are property investment processes being affected by this trend?
House viewing and communication
According to João Richard Costa, the director of sales and marketing in a resort in the popular Portuguese region of Algarve, there was an initial bump in sales at the beginning of Q2, but the situation normalized fast — partially thanks to virtual viewings. “We’ve done some sales for people who haven’t even visited. They were happy to move forward on the basis of virtual tours and videos,” he said.
For some realtors, the pandemic was therefore not all that bad. House-bound investors had more time to interact, be it through emails and calls or by consuming content and attending webinars. In such a context, virtual viewings became well-received, inspiring realtors and different platforms to further improve their capabilities and champion seamless user experience.
Author: Jan Večerka
Point72, the firm investing hedge fund mogul Steven A. Cohen’s personal wealth, gets into healthcare – TechCrunch
Point72 Ventures, the early-stage investment firm that’s now solely investing the personal wealth of the multi-billionaire hedge fund magnate Steven A. Cohen, is getting into healthcare investing.
The firm has hired Scott Barclay, a former partner at the life sciences and frontier technology investment firm DCVC, to run its new healthcare practice.
Because the investment firm is more like a family office than a traditional fund with limited partners, it’s hard to gauge the size of the firm’s commitment to healthcare — even from its partners. But a back of the envelope calculation should see the firm committing roughly $300 million to its healthcare efforts, according to Point72 Ventures managing partner Matthew Granade.
Barclay sees the focus of the new investment arm as investing in companies combining technology and empathy for the healthcare industry. That empathy manifests itself in an understanding of how physicians, administrators and patients all navigate the complexities of getting care, he said.
Entrepreneurs can expect the new fund to invest roughly $50 million per year across a range of early-stage startups.
“The entry point is anywhere from incubation to large, modern day, Series A deals,” said Barclay. “It’s a wide aperture.”
A typical deal size could range from $200,000 to $3 million to $4 million and the firm will even lead large Series A deals where it could commit as much as $15 million.
For Barclay, there’s no question about the need for new healthcare technologies. “There’s no part of healthcare that we think works very well,” the longtime investor said. While he won’t pursue pure therapeutic investment opportunities — leaving those deals to the Arch Capitals and 5AM Ventures — Barclay said that he would look to invest in care applications that push computing, diagnostics and therapeutics closer to patients.
Entrepreneurs looking for insights into where Barclay may be looking can see precedents in previous investments like Carbon Health, Swift Medical and the medical informatics company MIC.
“We’re looking to truly impact outcomes at scale,” Barclay said.
At Point72 Ventures, Barclay and the team he’s bringing on board will complement efforts that the firm has launched to back startups focused on financial technologies and services, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and enterprise software and cybersecurity.
“At Point72 Ventures, our goal is to be foremost experts in the areas in which we invest,” Granade added. “Scott has a 15-year track record and real passion for working with innovative, healthcare-focused founders. He is the kind of expert-focused investor we want at Point72 Ventures, and we are thrilled to have him on board.”
Author: Jonathan Shieber
Why Graf Industrial Stock Is Rising Today
Shares of Graf Industrial (NYSE:GRAF) were trading sharply higher on Wednesday. Graf, a special purpose acquisition company that has agreed to merge with lidar maker Velodyne Lidar, released an upbeat guidance update for Velodyne and confirmed that the merger is on track to close by the end of this month.
As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, Graf’s shares were up about 12.8% from Tuesday’s closing price.
Graf and Velodyne updated the guidance they released when the merger was first announced in early July, and there was good news to share.
Velodyne makes the “hockey puck” lidar units used by most self-driving development programs, as seen at the top of this Ford’s rooftop sensor array. The company is expected to be a major supplier to builders of self-driving cars as driverless technology is commercialized. Image source: Velodyne Lidar.
While Graf hasn’t yet set a date for the shareholder vote that will make the merger official, the company did give a presentation to its investors on Tuesday, outlining the deal and giving an in-depth view of Velodyne’s business. The transaction is expected to leave the combined company — which will take the Velodyne name — with about $200 million of cash on its balance sheet.
Author: John Rosevear