Real-estate venture boom is tested by stock market’s slide

Real-estate companies collected $12.2 billion in venture funding last year, according to private company data tracker CB Insights, up 34% from the previous peak in 2019.

The number of funds investing in the sector is also growing. Wilshire Lane Capital, based in Los Angeles, said Tuesday it has raised $40 million for its first vehicle, joining an expanding list of real estate-focused venture-capital firms. The fund’s backers include landlord Morgan Properties, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and private-equity firm Nile Capital Group.

Venture investors say in the past real estate was slower to adopt new technologies than other major industries, such as finance. That is creating growth opportunities now for property startups—sometimes referred to as proptech companies—which the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated.

Low interest rates and rising stock prices made startup investments more appealing, while landlords looking to fill malls and…

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