WeWork isn’t the only commercial real estate company acquiring an arsenal of technology firms. MRI Software which has bought more than ten proptech firms in the past two years announced it acquired three more coveted proptech firms Leverton, ProLease and Rockend in a buying streak, last week.
The company’s lighting speed acquisitions portend the real state software providers’ keen interest in establishing dominance in the commercial real estate technology space.
Patrick Ghilani, CEO of MRI, articulated the company’s acquisition strategy in an interview with Connected Real Estate Magazine.
“The whole paradigm of MRI is based on the concept of taking a consortium of enterprise software applications and converting them to give the user a single experience. We call it the MRI software revolution and plan to create a comprehensive platform stack built on our own ecosystem of products to create a concept of choice and freedom for clients,” said Ghilani
Leverton is an AI-powered solution for corporate real estate documents which extracts data such as lease start and end dates, rate per square foot, tax and other details from millions of leases and other materials and converts it into usable formats.
“Going forward, we will incorporate AI-driven ‘Leverton intelligence’ into the very fabric of MRI’s DNA,” said Ghilani. “MRI and Leverton coming together is a big win for the real estate industry. So far in the real estate arena, there have been modest use cases and adoption of AI for data analytics. Leverton intelligence will enable our clients to take big data and make it smart data.”
Ghilani said the goal with Leverton is to turn massive amounts of unstructured data through artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities into valuable insights across multiple use cases such as occupancy planning, prospect analysis, valuation, and asset return calculations.
Founded in 2012, Leverton has more than 100 global corporate and investor clients, including JLL, Savills, RSM, Zurich Alternative Asset Management, and Danaher.
With its second acquisition, ProLease MRI aims to make a formidable entree into the North American corporate occupier space.
ProLease, a provider of lease administration, accounting analysis and workplace management applications enables real estate, facilities and accounting departments to manage leases for any space or property including equipment such as laptops, vehicle fleets, copiers, and industrial machinery.
“ProLease is about expanding our spot in the corporate occupier arena. MRI has seen significant growth of its occupier solutions globally, particularly in the EMEA region. The acquisition of ProLease will support continued growth in global markets while adding significantly to operations of occupier clients in North America,” Ghilani said.
New accounting rules set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are having a significant impact on the management of corporate real estate and equipment leases- making them more challenging to track.
ProLease, which currently serves more than 700 clients across 40 industries, including real estate, retail, healthcare, government and education, directly addresses this industry pain point said Ghilani.
Last but not least, MRI also acquired Australian and New Zealand- based residential property and strata management solution provider Rockend.
With the acquisition of Rockend, MRI will establish the largest residential footprint in the ANZ region bolstering the company’s established presence as a real estate technology trailblazer globally.
“Acquiring Rockend represents a milestone in our global growth strategy, and it substantially extends MRI’s footprint in ANZ while paving the way for enhanced innovation and future expansion,” Ghilani said.
Rockend is a real estate technology provider, offering residential property management solutions to more than 1.5 million rental properties and 750,000 strata lots in the region with nearly 6,000 clients.
Strata lots are multi-owner, multifamily residential communities that use Rockend technology for the management and upkeep of each property complex, including strictly regulated funds earmarked for ongoing maintenance, insurance and other common costs.
Ghilani said MRI looks for three essential qualifications in prospective acquisitions: a product or solution that meets the immediate and complimentary needs of MRI clients, startups which can enable MRI to enter underserved or under-mature markets that it can innovate and modernize through SaaS capabilities and firms that can enable MRI to expand its footprint into another space.
While MRI did not disclose the amount of the three acquisitions, the company’s insatiable appetite for acquiring proptech firms is far from satisfied.
“As long as we see the value for our clients, we are going to continue to buy and acquire aggressively,” Ghilani said.