How GreenSoil Investments Profits From Building Innovation
GreenSoil Investments just launched a fund that'll spur building innovation via stakes in firms whose sustainability solutions generate healthy returns for owners and operators. Managing partner Susan McArthur explains.
Susan is seated with GreenSoil co-founder and chair Alan Greenberg (a former Minto Development Group principal); behind them: CIO Jamie James, manager Thomas Espiard, and co-founder Gideon Soesman, who launched the firm with Alan four years ago. Two earlier funds focused on investments in agriculture, food and tech in Israel, with $30M under management there. For its next venture, Alan, “passionate about bringing sustainability and cost-saving initiatives to buildings,” says Susan, wanted Greensoil to invest in companies offering the technologies that enable smarter and more efficient resource use.
The building innovation fund, which reached its first closing in May and is targeted to hit $100M, is backed by limited partners who control 200M SF of income-producing real estate and build over 15k homes and apartments annually. Susan says the fund helps companies it invests in accelerate sales growth by offering expertise through a team of owners, operators and developers, plus access to a broad network of real estate customers, many of them fund partners. Like Alex Lau, head of Golden Properties in Vancouver, who's working with a wireless control technology provider on a pilot project to efficiently manage LED lighting at 1177 West Hastings (above).
“All we do is look for companies that can help owners, tenants and developers save money,” Susan says, a plus for smaller firms facing rising utility prices and regulatory requirements but lacking resources to keep up with green innovation, and larger ones looking for market intel and sustainability solutions. And GreenSoil execs—including Jamie, who worked for Tridel, and Robert Smith, part of Minto’s pioneering green team (on projects like Midtown)—manage solution deployment personally. “They’re hands-on; they've worked on new developments and in buildings and speak the language of owners and portfolio companies."