PiLabs (Property Innovation Labs) is Europes first PropTech Venture Capital firm, founded in 2015. Kieran Parker-Moroney is an Accelerator Associate based in London. Kieran in his own words reveals to IIBN – We invest in companies from pre-seed to Series A and support them further with follow-on capital. We have over 50 investments, including Hubble, Trussle and Office RnD.
In addition we run a 15 week Accelerator programme, custom designed each year for our new cohorts. We take companies as early stage as MVP all the way to pre-Series A with either a direct equity investment or a warrant agreement. We are currently calling for PropTech start-ups to join Pi Labs Cohort 9.
How can IIBN members help your business?
If you are working on an early stage PropTech business, or you know people & communities that are, please get in touch! I’d love to have some Irish businesses pitching us. Applications for the accelerator close on Dec 6th, so no time like the present! For more information on the accelerator check out our blog: Here or feel free to contact me directly on LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
I am currently scouting for new teams to apply for our Accelerator programme, so that is my main priority. We look across the whole PropTech spectrum, and are particularly excited about ESG and sustainability solutions.
What are your biggest challenges?
Like any investment industry it is difficult to narrow down to the final few companies when spaces are limited. There are many quality companies and great founders out there, and we can’t fund all of them. Sometimes it comes down to splitting hairs in a sense and that is a challenge.
How has your business strategy been adapted in the context of the Covid-19 crisis?
We have all followed the ‘WFH’ movement, and Zoom amongst other things has become key! Other than that we are continuing to focus on finding great companies. It may sound cliche but historically many great businesses have been started in the middle of difficult periods, we believe the same is true here.
Tell us something interesting about the business.
I think people think PropTech is a much narrower band than it is. When you actually look at the investment scope it is so interesting. It isn’t just construction management platforms (nothing wrong with those!), it can be wall-climbing robots or drones for inspection! Similarly, this year we have been looking into sustainability as one area of focus and it is fascinating to see the range of businesses we can look at.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
Helping great founders be discovered and succeed. I think if you are helping grow exciting and new business that are trying to make the world a better place, whether that is through sustainability, efficiency or any other measure important to you, that is success. Plus working with people more intelligent than you are- you learn a lot. I think part of what drives me to succeed is slightly out of the left-field but, being diagnosed with diabetes when I was 11, I was very lucky to survive and it taught me life is precious. You want to have an impact but in ways important to you. Alongside that I have always had a competitive nature, so that fans the flames too.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
A few things come to mind. One that is short and sweet- ”You can do anything, but not everything”. That always helps me to settle down and focus.
What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020/21?
We see a high amount of opportunity coming out of 2020 leading into ’21. The pandemic is forcing people to be more innovative than ever and we are seeing some really encouraging ideas coming through every week. We see PropTech as a huge growth area, not only because of the current ‘work-from-home’ situation. People are thinking about how they use office space differently and many other changes are happening. ‘Necessity is the mother of all invention’ springs to mind- when crises like these occur it makes people more willing to try new ideas, to break from the status quo. So, we are excited and encouraged.