Venture Capital

1Sharpe Ventures Launches With $90 Million Fund

OAKLAND — 1Sharpe Ventures has announced the close of its inaugural fund at $90 million. 1Sharpe Ventures is a proptech-centric early stage investment vehicle grown out of 1Sharpe Capital, a more than $2.5 billion institutional asset manager with equity real estate investments and a credit fund. The new fund was oversubscribed and marks the 12th total venture for founders Gregor Watson and Rob Bloemker and will focus on global investments in pre-seed to Series A-stage companies leveraging technology to improve the way people access, own and experience real estate.

[Photo above: Left to Right: Kathleen Collins, Gregor Watson, Ginny Miller, Rob Bloemker and Feng Wang. (Photo: Business Wire)]

The first 1Sharpe Ventures fund will make investments in 30-40 companies building technology to progress the real estate system, focusing on three categories:

  • Financial Transactions and Access to Capital: improving access to real estate, from mobile-first solutions to financial products that make it more equitable and create opportunities for economic mobility;
  • Real Estate Human Capital: transforming antiquated processes with automation and systems that bring greater independence and efficiency to retail, hospitality, office, housing and construction teams;
  • Data & Intelligence: creating a more accountable, sustainable and dynamic industry through technology that increases data availability and actionability

Capital has already been deployed from the fund, with five investments made to date in home renovation and sale platform Freemodel; event venue fintech platform, Carats & Cake; rental property ownership platform, Flock Homes, construction tech platform, Cottage, and a Brazilian fintech platform still in stealth.

“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,” said Gregor Watson, co-founder of 1Sharpe Capital and 1Sharpe Ventures. “With 1Sharpe Ventures, we are funding technologies that remove the friction and frustration from these experiences, much like fintech advancements have alleviated hassle from traditional banking experiences. Our team is involved in the earliest days, working side by side with founders and sharing firsthand knowledge of what it takes to bring proptech to market successfully. Helping them connect the dots to get from idea to scale is our favorite part – it’s where we can be most impactful.”

Watson and Bloemker are serial entrepreneurs, founding and building nine real estate finance and technology platforms together, including Roofstock, Dwell Finance, Lessen, Azibo and Creative Juice, among others. Combined, they have invested over $8 billion in real estate and technology platforms and portfolios encompassing construction lending, multifamily investing, single family rentals and land development. They bring an entrepreneurial approach to founders and business challenges, providing both capital and operational expertise. From practical advice to recruitment of people with specific skill sets, the 1Sharpe Ventures team is well positioned to help proptech founders navigate unique, industry-specific challenges.

Headquartered in Oakland, California, 1Sharpe Ventures has built a team of five employees in 2022, dedicated to venture investment, with plans to expand. Ginny Miller joined as Principal to oversee investment strategy and execution. Feng Wang, Head of Capital Markets at 1Sharpe and former founding team member of LendingHome, will help portfolio companies optimize strategic capital structure. Vice President Kathleen Collins will focus on sourcing and diligencing new opportunities that complement the portfolio.

“Collectively, our team has extensive yet diverse experience investing in and operating real estate companies,” said co-founder Bloemker. “We can relate to founders’ pain points firsthand, and ultimately lend relevant counsel to navigate both challenges and pursue opportunities with greater certainty.”