Toronto-based Alate Partners has recruited a diverse, nine-member board of seasoned real estate executives to help the company find and scale promising property technology (proptech) companies.
The new company operates as a separate entity from its partners and is focused on building, buying and investing in proptech companies, said Courtney Cooper, director, corporate development for Alate.
“(We’re focused on) everything from how we design and build properties to how we utilize and interact with our homes and workplaces,” she told RENX in an email interview. “Alate supports entrepreneurs by providing access to real estate expertise, introductions to potential customers and funding to help them scale their business.”
Alate already has the experience of Dream president and chief responsible officer Michael Cooper, as well as Relay Ventures managing partner and co-founder John Albright on its board of directors. The advisory board will add nine other sector experts.
Alate advisory board members
The new board is comprised of: Mike Abramsky, former president, Argus Software; Subhi Alsayed, vice-president, sustainable development, Mattamy; Tim Aubrey, executive vice-president, customer, product, and innovation, Great Gulf; Jeff Hull, president, Hullmark Developments; Jonathan Fleischer, executive vice-president, operations, CAPREIT; Stuart Lombard, CEO, ecobee; Sean Menkes, development manager, commercial, Menkes; Aliyah Mohamed, managing director, investment banking, real estate, TD Securities; and Jonathan Pearce, executive vice-president, leasing, Ivanhoé Cambridge.
The board members represent a wide cross-section of real estate leaders committed to innovation and bringing expertise from various asset classes and sectors of the business.
“(The) board . . . can help us better understand the needs of real estate owners, builders, and operators and provide insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the industry,” she said. “We’ll meet with our advisors periodically to share what we’re seeing and get feedback on the value and impact of different solutions.”
So far, Alate has made two investments.
New tech concepts
The space-as-a-service model has been one of the foremost developments in proptech.
“While co-working giant WeWork is a notable example, we’ve also seen a rise in real estate leaders working with start-ups to design and manage co-working, co-living and flexible retail spaces,” Cooper said.
“I expect that over the next few years, we’ll continue to see the Canadian real estate industry explore new business models and partnerships that allow them to provide more flexibility and convenience to their tenants and residents.”
Other trends Alate is excited about include the proliferation of sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the sharing economy.
Cooper said new ideas and products are constantly emerging that can make homes and offices healthier, more connected and energy-efficient.
In the meantime, construction and design are becoming more data-driven, fast and affordable, and real estate firms are adopting new business models to expand their services and amenities to better fit how people are living and working today, she said.
About Alate’s partners
Relay Ventures partners with accomplished entrepreneurs building AI-powered software solutions. Founded in 2008, Relay has offices in Toronto, San Francisco and Menlo Park and invests throughout North America and selected global markets.
Dream is one of Canada’s leading real estate companies with approximately $14 billion of assets under management in North America and Europe.
Dream’s business includes residential land development, housing and condominium development, asset management for four TSX-listed trusts, investments in and management of Canadian renewable energy infrastructure and commercial property ownership.