Agya Ventures Closes $32 Million First Investment Fund

Venture capital firm focusing on early-stage proptech startups and the metaverse

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Looking to bridge the gap between actual real estate and the virtual kind, Agya Ventures announced Tuesday that it has closed its first investment fund at $32 million. The venture capital firm will focus on investing its Fund I in early-stage proptech startups, some of which deal with property in the metaverse.

Agya Ventures plans on investing about 50 to 55 percent in “conventional real estate tech” and about 45 percent in metaverse-oriented startups that form the “connective tissue” between the two worlds, said Kunal Lunawat, co-founder and managing partner at Agya Ventures.

SEE ALSO: The ‘Real State’ of the Metaverse in Real Estate

Lunawat believes that making such a connection will enhance property owners’ ability to own their content in the virtual world, making it more valuable to them and others engaged in their real estate ecosystem.

“I think it’s that ecosystem that we’ve taken for granted for so long,” said Lunawat. “That creators don’t own their content, which is what the metaverse can change, and the digital world can change in the physical world.”

IMG 0206 Agya Ventures Closes $32 Million First Investment Fund
Kunal Lunawat. Credit: Agya

Founded in 2019, the Manhattan-based venture capital firm began when Lunawat and fellow founder and managing partner Nobu Iguchi started a consulting business for a few large, Japan-based real estate developers and general contractors, helping them identify where their portfolio would benefit from technology integrations and partnerships, Lunawat said.

The co-founders, both immigrants to the U.S. who graduated together from Yale and from Harvard Business School, then decided to pivot to creating a venture capital firm in which many of their institutional real estate developers and general contracting services clients participated as leveraged partners in their fund.

Agya Ventures is unusual in that its Fund I limited partners include leading real estate firms, general contractors, and smart city developers from Japan that have significant asset holdings and businesses in the Indo-Pacific region. Among them are Mitsubishi Estate, Tokyu Fudosan, Obayashi Corporation, Mori Trust and Hitachi Solutions.

Over the next year, Agya Ventures says it will continue to build business relationships in the Middle East, North Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, hoping to introduce opportunities for its portfolio companies beyond North America.

Lunawat is particularly proud that 50 percent of the startup founders in Agya Ventures’ portfolio have at least one female co-founder, far exceeding the current venture capital average of 18 percent.

The firm has invested in 19 companies, all based in the U.S., including Culdesac, a Phoenix-based startup that is creating a car-less neighborhood; Obsess, an interactive virtual retail store platform; Playhouse, a real estate video listings app, and Wildr, a social media platform still in stealth mode.

Philip Russo can be reached at prusso@commercialobserver.com.