Equiem acquires British Land's property management arm as "PropTech" deals boom

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Equiem, an Australian firm whose software improves communication between office building owners and their tenants for multiple services, has acquired the property management platform of the British Land Co Plc, the two companies said on Monday.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

British Land, the largest UK real estate investment trust, acquired an equity stake of less than 10% in Equiem in exchange for the Vicinitee property management platform, a source familiar with the deal said.

Vicinitee will be key for Equiem to capture growing demand by landlords for technology that streamlines commercial real estate operations and enhances the tenant experience, said Gabrielle McMillan, the New York-based chief executive of Equiem.

“It’s a digital interface for your building that becomes a remote control for all the things you need in a post-COVID world,” McMillan said.

The deal increases Equiem’s scale to 500 buildings in Europe, North America and Australia, expands its product line and deepens an existing partnership with British Land, which owns and manages prime London office assets, she said.

The acquisition is the latest flurry in “PropTech,” a sphere that in the first quarter had about 100 U.S. equity financings totaling some $4.5 billion of investment and more than 40 M&A transactions, according to GCA Advisors in San Francisco.

Boston-based HqO, a tenant experience operating system, two weeks ago raised $60 million to expand its operations. Real estate software and data firm View The Space Inc in March bought Rise Buildings, another tenant experience operator, for about $100 million, the Wall Street Journal said, citing sources.

Tenant experience apps initially provided tenants information about on site or nearby food, beverage, fitness and healthcare, among other services and have expanded into booking flex space, conference rooms

During the pandemic the apps have become a tool for landlords to communicate to their tenants about a building’s hygiene, air quality and other safety issues.

Property management software coordinates and keeps track of myriad data about tenant accounts, leasing information, building entry and security, HVAC management and maintenance workflow.

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