Roofstock Co-founder and Chairman Gregor Watson’s 1Sharpe Ventures closed its initial $90 million fund, which will help finance early-stage property technology (proptech) startup companies, TechCrunch reports. Watson started 1Share Ventures with real estate investor Rob Bloemker in 2021. The pair created the fund out of another venture, 1Sharpe Capital, an institutional asset manager with equity real estate investments and a credit fund.
Oakland, Calif.-based 1Sharpe Ventures plans to invest in 30 to 40 early-stage proptech companies in amounts from $500,000 to $2 million. The fund’s focus will be on pre-seed to Series A-stage businesses. Approximately half of the $90 million it has raised will be set aside for follow-on investments, Watson said. 1Sharpe Ventures currently has made five investments, TechCrunch reports. They include Construction tech startups Cottage and FlockHomes, and an unnamed Brazilian fintech company. The fund is open to investing in North America, Europe and Latin America.
1Sharpe Ventures’ focus
The fund is looking for investment opportunities in three categories— financial transactions and access to capital; real estate human capital; and data and intelligence. Watson and Bloemker are looking to create financial products that make real estate more equitable and that can “create opportunities for economic mobility.”
“We believe that purchasing and owning real estate can be much more efficient and that the environments where we live and work should be healthier, more sustainable and more enjoyable,” Watson told TechCrunch.
Together, Watson and Bloemker have founded and built nine real estate finance and tech platforms and invested a combined $8 billion in real estate and proptech platforms as well as portfolios that comprise constructing lending, multi-family investing and more. Watson’s confident their shared experience gives 1Sharpe an edge when it comes to which funds can offer more capital.
“We sit in a unique seat where we really understand capital markets and real estate,” Watson told TechCrunch. “We’ve done billions and billions of dollars of real estate transactions, but we’ve also built a number of high-growth technology companies so we can understand and translate between those two worlds.”
1Sharpe Ventures will be very patient when it comes to its investment timeframe, Watson said. He believes the firm will invest the first half of its $90 million fund over the next two to three years, TechCrunch reports.
“The best thing about this downturn is it reminds entrepreneurs to focus on burn — go back to — ‘what are the unit economics,’ like Business 101, and then go and change the world using technology,” he said.