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JLL purchases artificial intelligence startup

JLL CEO Christian Ulbrich, Skyline CEO Guy Zipori (LinkedIn, Skyline)

As the saying goes, it’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future. But through a new acquisition, commercial brokerage JLL thinks it’s found a way for clients to see where property values are headed — and what tenants will be willing to pay down the road.

JLL is set to close on the purchase of artificial intelligence startup Skyline AI, the Wall Street Journal reported. The firm aims to use Skyline’s technology to help clients estimate future property values and pick new investment opportunities.

Other purported benefits include data that can inform when to adjust rents or opportune times to renovate or sell. Skyline AI’s technology will first be applied to the multifamily sector before expanding out to the office, retail and industrial properties.

JLL already uses AI models to discern occupancy patterns and predict the best use for building space. Skyline AI has a history of tracking numerous data points to feed into its AI algorithms, though.

The startup currently tracks more than 400,000 residences in the U.S. with data related to demographics, occupancy levels, the performance of assets and feedback from tenants. Skyline AI gathers that data from upwards of 300 sources, including real-estate analytics and crime statistics.

The startup has raised almost $25 million in investor funding over the past four years, backed by the likes of Sequoia Capital and JLL Spark, a venture-capital fund of JLL Technologies. Once the acquisition is closed, Skyline AI’s employees in New York and Tel Aviv will join JLL.

[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner