Hazelview creates a proptech, buildtech and cleantech venture capital fund | RENX
Hazelview Investments launched Hazelview Ventures, a venture capital fund that will partner with high-tech, construction-tech and clean-tech companies.
“The hope is to find the best companies that we can help and that can really help us with our operations,” says Roger Poirier, a chartered financial analyst who co-founded and heads Hazelview Ventures.
The fund will only invest in companies with technology solutions that Hazelview Investments can use internally to improve operational efficiency and the tenant experience.
“The hope is that by getting involved early enough with these companies at the development stage, we can ensure that we get exactly what we need and also help them on their growth trajectory,” says Poirier.
“We believe that if we have the best solutions for us, others will want to use them as well.
The focus on proptech, buildtech and cleantech companies will help Hazelview in its operations and could lead to cost savings, he says.
As for clean technologies, “anything that will help us improve our carbon footprint or at the same time improve our energy efficiency is something that makes sense to both our tenants and our investors”.
Hazelview Ventures and Rhenti
Hazelview Ventures’ first investment was $ 1.5 million in Rhenti, a marketing platform for residential real estate rental. The venture capital fund is currently working with two other buildtech and proptech companies to see if there is an adjustment.
Poirier does not disclose how much the venture capital fund will have available for investments, but “it’s not like we’re just delivering the money.”
Instead, start-ups the fund invests in will also have access to advice from employees of Hazelview Investments.
“We’re really committed to creating a collaborative environment with our portfolio companies, rolling up our sleeves and making sure we can really deliver a strong product offering. It’s about getting there early enough to have a real impact and put them on a growth path.
Poirier says that while there is a lot of venture finance available elsewhere, “I think the entrepreneurs we want to work with are looking for this opportunity to really work with a partner and a client – someone who really understands the end market. “
Canadian and international companies
The venture capital fund prefers to work with Canadian entrepreneurs here – “it’s something that we’re really passionate about” – but would be happy to talk to anyone with solutions that “can really be useful and impactful”.
Ideally, the fund will invest in technology companies with proven products for small and medium-sized homeowners who need help reaching large property management companies, Poirier says.
“We really hope that by partnering with them and helping them deliver the right solution for us, it should be the right solution for a bunch of other customers and so we really think that by working with us we are improving. their ability to be successful. “
Since Hazelview Investments is one of Canada’s largest property management companies, “if one solution makes sense to us, we expect it to be meaningful to others as well.”
Rhenti, for example, has “a really fantastic platform to simplify the process of finding the right apartment for tenants,” he says. The site, which says it “helps you find the right tenant, faster”, streamlines the rental application process as a single profile can be used to apply for multiple apartments.
Rhenti has served over 1,000 landowners who collectively manage over 42,000 units across Canada.
“Our goal is to help them develop an enterprise solution for larger property managers like us,” says Poirier, noting that Hazelview is beta testing the Rhenti app for its entire national portfolio of over 22 000 units.
“We thought they were at the right time to really help us and for us to help them.”
About Poirier and Hazelview
Poirier has more than three decades of experience in capital markets, finance and mergers and acquisitions.
He founded Whiteshell Group, an investment bank specializing in venture capital and private and public companies of intermediate size and co-founded Cormark Securities, an institutional equity boutique, where he held various management positions over a period of 18 years.
He has also served on several boards of directors.
Hazelview Investments manages $ 9.9 billion in real estate assets and employs a global investment and asset management team of more than 70 people in its offices in Toronto, New York, Hong Kong and Hamburg.