Equiem locks in $12.4m equity raise

Equiem locks in $12.4m equity raise

16 August 2019

Proptech start-up Equiem has brought on new investors in a $12.4 million equity raising – its biggest to date – to further develop its technology and expand overseas.

The developer of “intranets for buildings”, was founded by Lorenz Grollo, Matthew O’Halloran and Stuart Richardson in 2011, and has gone onto work with 10 of Australia’s 11 biggest real estate investment trusts.

The software assists corporate landlords looking to master a focus on relationships with the occupiers of their buildings and not just the corporate tenants with which they sign lease agreements.

New investors – among them local institutional investors Perennial Value Management and Regal Funds Management, as well as Equiem’s first private (and unidentified) US-based investors – provided $7 million in a round that brings the company’s total funds raised to date to $30 million and sets it up for a Series B funding round in the next year.

Existing shareholders including Grollo Group, Salta Capital and Aconex co-founder Leigh Jasper provided the rest to propel growth of the company that now has its platform installed in office buildings covering 6 million square metres of space globally, one-third of which is in the UK, Ireland and US.

Equiem was a market leader in the space, but it’s faced and is facing some competition from other providers and landlords setting up their own services, including Investa, Charter Hall / CBRE and others.

Charter Hall has partnered with CBRE to develop an app “Charli” to sell services and provide information to occupants of its buildings, in a push to make its tenants “stickier”.

Equiem’s growth has been gathering steam, on the back of a “network effect” as customers who had used the platform in one building expanded it to assets in other countries, as the Australian arm of Singapore-based investor Mapletree and US-based Spear Street Capital had done, Equiem chief executive Gabrielle McMillan said.

“We’re moving past early adopters to more widespread adoption and rapid adoption,” Ms McMillan said.

“A customer sees the benefit of rolling it out in one building and look to deploy it across their global platform. Seventy per cent of our customers in the past 12 months have added at least a second building.”

The wider pool of investors would help Equiem grow faster, she said.

“One thing we wanted to achieve was to introduce new and larger institutional investors that have experience in scaling up companies at this stage. That’s what we’ve been able to achieve.”

Equiem has just rebuilt its platform to give landlords more ability to curate and manage the retail mix of their buildings – an increasingly important offering for Premium and A-grade landlords at a time when tenants were taking shorter leases and less “sticky” in contractual terms.

“Landlords are starting to explore and experiment with additional non-rental revenue streams, taking the lead from various co-working providers (such as WeWork),” Ms McMillan said.

“It’s early days, but large portfolio landlords, in particular, are seeing the potential in harnessing their significant and captive customer base and providing services beyond what landlords have traditionally offered.”

 “As the real estate industry matures in terms of its adoption of technology, we want to keep raising the bar in the tenant experience technology space.”

“The completion of this latest funding round now allows us to further develop our product line and deliver on a really exciting future roadmap, ensuring that we provide the next generation in tenant experience technology and remain the go-to provider in the global real estate market.”