Wilshire Lane Capital, the California-based venture capital firm aimed at proptech funding is getting 95,000 units to test its technology solutions on.
The VC firm announced a new partnership on Friday with Morgan Properties, one of the largest private multifamily owners in the United States that manages nearly 100k units and over $15 billion in assets.
The partnership will see Morgan Properties’ innovation team working with Wilshire Lane Capital to help identify the most viable startups to invest in and deploying that technology across the massive multifamily portfolio.
Adam Demuyakor, founder and general partner of Wilshire Lane Capital had previously invested in many of proptech’s success stories, including unicorns VTS and Kitopi, as well as Neighbor, Common, Saltbox, and Stuf Storage in his prior two funds. However, this partnership with Morgan Properties represents Wilshire Lane Capital’s first major leap into the multifamily segment of the sector.
Now, Wilshire Lane Capital is in the midst of a fundraise for its Fund III.
“In combining their sheer scale as the largest private multifamily landlord in the nation, and our unique value-add approach for partnering with the best early-stage startups in the PropTech space, I have no doubt that we will be able to manufacture massive win-win outcomes for our LPs and Morgan Properties’ residents,” said Demuyakor.
In a LinkedIn post referencing the new partnership, Jason Morgan, Principal at Morgan Properties noted their massive portfolio is an “incredible testing ground” for the technology Wilshire Lane Capital plans to invest in.
The rapidly growing proptech category has taken off in recent years, with a record-breaking $32 billion of private investment flowing into the space in 2021, according to the Center for Real Estate Technology & Innovation.
“As Millennials and Gen-Z increasingly represent the largest groups of renters in the United States, it is important now more than ever for multifamily owners and operators to invest in technology solutions that can improve the ease of living for the average person,” Demuyakor said.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Demuyaker told the publication that despite the pandemic, it is still difficult for millennials and Gen Z to afford to live in the most expensive cities at current wage levels. As a result, Wilshire Lane Capital expects to see continued demand for products and solutions that can continuously help alleviate the costs and burdens of living in major cities.
For example, at its core, co-living is an economic decision, Demuyakor noted. Solutions that can help people live where they want to live more easily (ADUs for example) will continue to thrive.
Morgan Properties has made investments of its own towards innovative multifamily products, having backed Bilt Rewards in its September funding round for the first-ever loyalty program and co-branded credit cards specifically for renters.