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Jerry Jones Buys Stake In Proptech Firm, Giving European VC 10x Return On Fund

Pi Labs' Faisal Butt

An investment firm co-founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has bought a stake in a proptech company that allows companies to manage flex office space, giving the previous owner a 60x return on its investment.

London-based proptech venture capital firm Pi Labs has sold its equity position in coworking technology platform OfficeRnD to Jones' Blue Star Innovation Partners, Pi Labs said in a statement. 

The Bulgarian-founded OfficeRnD platform is used by flexible office operators to manage over 2,000 coworking spaces serving more than 300,000 employees across 70 countries in North America, Europe and Asia. Its acquisition is a rare foray into proptech for Blue Star.  

Pi Labs saw a 60x return at exit, the company said. Pi Labs' investment was made for its first fund, which was raised in 2015 and focused on startup proptech companies at what was an early stage for both the emergence of proptech as a tool for real estate investors and as an investment sector for the venture capital world. 

With the sale, Pi Labs has exited all 10 of the investments it made for its first fund, the first time a European proptech VC investor has fully exited a fund. The fund delivered a 10x return for its investors, outperforming the top decile of VC funds since its inception in 2015 by 220% when comparing entry and exit prices.

“We launched Fund I confident in our thesis that investing in the best property technology startups at the earliest stages of the sector’s digitisation would allow investors to achieve sizeable returns,” Pi Labs Managing Partner Faisal Butt said in a statement.

“The ‘proptech’ concept hadn’t even been coined yet, and this meant that we were able to find attractive entry points in companies that we believed would go on to scale at pace globally while reshaping how the sector operates. Proptech is a mainstream feature of the built environment today and some of Pi Labs’ earliest portfolio companies, like OfficeRnD, LandTech and Switchee, are amongst its leading pioneers, confirming our early convictions.” 

Today Pi Labs’ global portfolio has an aggregate value of more than £8.8B. It has raised three institutional funds and made more than 80 investments.