EPDs: as easy as 1, 2, 3?

Construction data is hard, and not as simple as do-re-mi (last Jackson 5 reference I promise). Sites and projects are complex, prone to going over budget and creeping out of scope. This makes it hard to understand which materials have gone into a building and where they came from. But why does this matter?

One reason is the UK’s Golden Thread, as part of the Building Safety Bill passed after the Grenfell Tower fire. This necessitates an audit showing every material that went into a building. Another reason is carbon budgeting. Countries are starting to regulate how much carbon can go into a building, and also how much carbon a building can emit. These carbon budgets force developers to care about their data. If you have to work within a carbon budget, you need to know how much carbon your building will use.

Enter LCAs and EPDs. These two acronyms are taking construction by storm.

The regulatory picture

Regulation is the key driver behind the need for tracking building carbon. When I use the term building carbon, I’m referring to „whole life carbon“. This is the sum of embodied carbon, operational carbon, and end-of-life carbon. The figure below gives a good overview of these different types. Embodied and operational carbon are the important ones for us. Embodied carbon in buildings makes up 11% of all greenhouse gas emissions [1]. Operational makes up 26%. Considering how high these sectors are, we’d expect a concerted global effort to reduce them both.

Showing the different kinds of carbon throughout the lifecycle of a building [1]

And so typically, there’s nothing. The EU has taken a stance on this, with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) [2]. However this only focuses on operational carbon. Future EPBD versions are under negotiation, with pressure to include whole life carbon. The US is no better. There are no federal regulations on whole life building carbon.

Luckily, some European nations and US states are taking action on this. California, Maryland, Colorado, Minnesota, and Oregon have legislated to incentivise materials with low embodied carbon [3]. Additionally, other states have introduced incentives to promote low-carbon products.

Looking across the Atlantic, I think France is one of the best countries in this space. Their National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC) defines carbon budgets for different sectors. The budget for “Manufacturing & Construction” for 2019 – 2021 was 75 MT CO2e per year (million tonnes of CO2 equivalent). The actual was 77 MT CO2e [4]. France also has their RE2020 regulation. This came into force in January 2022 and prioritises using low-carbon construction materials [5].

Cities are taking action too, using their control over planning applications and local zoning. For example, London has rejected planning applications due to concerns over high embodied carbon.

Ultimately, there are a few different regulatory pathways:

  1. Performance Standards: Specific requirements that new construction must meet, such as limits on embodied carbon emissions. Example: the Netherlands‘ MPG (Environment Performance of Buildings) calculation [6].
  2. Mandatory Reporting and Disclosure: Companies and sectors must calculate and report their environmental impact. Example: Sweden’s Climate Disclosure Act for new buildings [6].
  3. Lifecycle Analysis Requirements: new buildings must have a life cycle assessment as part of planning . Example: Denmark’s new building codes [7].
  4. Material and Construction Method Regulations: Developers must use low-carbon and sustainable virgin materials, or reuse and recycle materials in a circular approach. Examples: France’s RE2020, California’s CALGreen [3], and Finland’s Building Act [8].
  5. Carbon Budgets and Caps: Capping the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted over a specific period. Example: the UK’s Climate Change Act.
  6. Incentives and Subsidies: Using incentives, subsidies, and tax breaks to encourage adopting sustainable practices and technologies. Example: Toronto City Council [9].

This is a quick overview – my colleague Ada is preparing an overview of whole life carbon regulations. If you’d like to find out more about this please contact her at ada@pt1.vc.

Life-cycle assessments, how they work and where they go wrong

The different regulatory mechanisms above have some things in common. Many of them require some form of whole life carbon reporting. This is an either an explicit requirement (eg Denmark’s specific mandate), or a needed component (the UK’s scheme needs whole life data). So how do we work out the whole-life carbon of a building? The answer is a life cycle assessment (LCA).

LCAs are a standard assessment process showing the total environmental impact of something. This process is formally defined as part of ISO 14000, where it is described as:

LCA studies the environmental aspects and potential impacts throughout a product’s life cycle (i.e., cradle-to-grave) from raw materials acquisition through production, use and disposal. The general categories of environmental impacts needing consideration include resource use, human health, and ecological consequences.

Here’s a very basic example of how you can do an LCA. I’m making a building. I have a bill of materials, which is the „ingredients“ for my building. For each material, I find its carbon intensity. This is also called the global warming potential (GWP). The GWP is measured in tonnes of CO2e, per unit. For example, some insulation has a GWP of 5kg CO2e/ sqm. Producing one square metre of this insulation emits 5kg CO2e. I could find this value from a material database, or the producer might have given it to me. Then, I would look up how much of this material I’m using from my bill of material (say 300 square metres). After that, I’d work out the total GWP for this material: 300sqm x 5kg CO2e/ sqm = 1,500kg CO2e. A proper LCA would also take into account how far the material travelled to get to me, and the emissions of any on-site processes.

To get the final LCA, repeat this for every single material in the building. This would give us a “process LCA”, as we follow the construction process to get there. This is a simplified example, but even in this case the complexity of an LCA is clear. Producing an actual building LCA is not easy. Thankfully, there are some startups in this space to make things easier.

A full market map on relevant startups is far beyond the scope of this article. But at a high level, we have the following segments:

  1. Materials databases: these solutions provide information on construction materials. This allows easy benchmarks (for LCA calculations), but also lets developers compare products. These tools are moving towards lead generation platforms or marketplaces for construction.
  2. Planning and design: these tools bring embodied carbon checks to the planning stage. Architects can course correct while in the design stage. These tools are most useful when the project is at RIBA Stage 2. (RIBA’s plan of work is a great framework to classify ConTech startups – it’s worth checking it out here.)
  3. Report generators: these generate the necessary reports: LCAs, EPDs), or ad hoc.
  4. Construction auditors: tracking the actual embodied carbon, during construction.

There are a lot of startups in these segments. I’ve spoken to many of them myself. The forerunner in this space, and arguably no longer a startup, is One Click LCA. As the name suggests, they make LCA production easier and faster. They also claim to have the world’s largest construction material database. Starting in 2001 as LCA consultants, One Click LCA has since dominated the market. They made headlines recently, raising a €40m round for strategic growth. Many of these startups have grown in response to the growth in LCAs and the complexity of producing them.

However, LCAs aren’t perfect. Recently there has been one major problem with building LCAs: their comparability. LCAs for similar buildings have hugely different results. This raises doubts about the reliability of LCA data.

These graphs [10] show the GWP of from some LCAs for different buildings. We see a huge distribution in GWP per square metre for the same building type. There’s a max variance of 2 tonnes CO2e per sqm, which adds up quickly. Two different consultants analysing London’s Gherkin could produce LCAs with a total GWP difference of 130 million kg CO2e.

Underestimating is dangerous – we’d end up blowing way past our carbon budgets. Overestimating is just as dangerous. It stifles new development, by mislabelling projects “too” carbon intensive.

Some inaccuracies are due to different methodologies, but there are also inter-methodology problems. Comparing GWPs shows us that one method (input-output LCAs) leads to consistently higher results than from other methods [11]. This makes it hard for policy-makers to engage with LCAs. This is an inherent flaw: a layperson can’t compare LCAs without understanding the different methods.

LCAs also have loads of data points, and this abundance of data can lead to information overload. A common recommendation is to simplify LCAs to a single indicator. For example we’d just focus on GWP and ignore all the other metrics. But even this isn’t perfect. Different countries have different LCA guidelines. Identical office buildings, on either side of the Danish-Swedish border, have different GWPs. The Danish building has 2.5x more global warming potential – for the exact same building [12].

We are living in a material world

There’s one other problem we’re yet to discuss. LCAs are calculated using material data. But where does this data come from? And how accurate is it?

There are several online material databases, which provide benchmarks for different materials. We can use these, ie the median GWP for steel framing. The issue is that not all materials are created equally. I looked at a few example materials, using the Carbon Leadership Forum’s 2021 baseline data [13].

They collate the different kinds of composite lumber (for example), and provide the median, top (80th percentile) value, and bottom (20th percentile) value. I compared 6 examples from the data. For composite lumber, the top value is almost double the bottom. Herein lies the problem. LCA calculations are susceptible to this huge variation. Say I’m building a construction project, and I’m using Composite Lumber. My LCA consultant would use the benchmark (median) value in their calculations. If I decide to use the worst material there’ll be a huge difference between the LCA value vs the actual value. My LCA would heavily underestimate my carbon impact.

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are one way to fix this. Rather than rely on material benchmarks, each material supplier creates product specific EPDs. These are also produced following an ISO 14000 mandated process.

The market response to EPDs has been positive. I’ve spoken to several material producers in the space who are producing their own EPDs. EPDs offer them a competitive edge when selling to developers. Rather than use a product without an EPD (where I’d have to rely on the material benchmark), I can use a product with an EPD and reduce my project’s GWP. We’re seeing a growth in the number of EPDs prepared, with an estimated 130,000 EPDs globally. The graph below shows how this number has been growing exponentially in the last ten years [14].

I suspect we’re only scratching the surface with EPDs. 130,000 EPDs isn’t enough to cover every construction product globally. I suspect we’re missing many (in the order of half a million). This gap will need filling if regulation changes.

There’s one key challenge though. EPDs are very detailed. For example, EPDs vary based on the supply chain and where production facilities are. This means a supplier could have two different EPDs for identical products, if they’re made in different places. We can see an example of this below [15]:

Above we compare EPDs for 5 identical ready mix concretes, all produced by Holcim. The GWP (rightmost column) varies for each of them, with Bladensburg being the most environmentally friendly. The fact that there’s a difference is a testament to how much data is needed to create an EPD. These are complex calculations, needed for hundreds of thousands of products. They must also be updated whenever there’s a significant supply chain or process change. I spoke to a large European product manufacturer about this. They’ve spent a year building internal tooling to help with EPD generation. Creating EPDs across an entire product portfolio is complex. The complexity increases with the number of products and with the components in each product. I spoke to another major European manufacturer, and they are actively looking for software providers to help them produce and manage their EPDs.

We’ve seen a few early-stage startups in this space. In New York, Pathways recently raised €2.5m to build out their AI-powered EPD generation software. Their investors included Zacua Ventures, a ConTech expert, as well as Pi Labs, the UK’s oldest PropTech/ ConTech VC.

Speaking to Mauricio Tessi Weiss, a Founding Partner at Zacua Ventures, about his view on this space:

„Creating an EPD in the construction industry is a complex and resource-intensive process, depending on the type of product and the available data: it requires expertise in LCA methodology, manual data collection, formatting, and organization, collaboration with suppliers and manufacturers to access relevant data, and the use of LCA software. This process takes 7-12 months and is often outsourced to expensive consultants. An EPD and LCA is often created using 12 months of historical data, and so by the time a process is complete, the data can already be outdated or there have been changes in the material supply chain.

This process is an excellent use case for AI automation to save human time: Solutions that can integrate directly into supplier databases, or even automatically extract information from PDFs or Excel spreadsheets save us from tedious copy+paste (or paying consultants to do it!) and prevent the need for manual data entry. A faster and more automatic LCA process allows for more real-time modelling into the supply chain, where suppliers can test out the purchase or inclusion of new materials and see how this changes carbon, price, and time.“

In Europe, Emidat is the earliest startup I know of who are generating EPDs. Vizcab, a French startup who recently raised a €5m Series A are also in this space. Vizcab started out with a solution to help French construction companies comply with RE2020 legislation, but working on EPD generation is a logical next step. Vizcab’s Series A was led by KOMPAS VC, another ConTech expert, and also included A/O PropTech, Europe’s largest built world VC. Specialist VCs are clearly starting to converge on this sector. But what about the Finnish sleeping dragon?. One Click LCA also offer automated EPD generation to their clients. Can these newer startups outmanoeuvre One Click LCA’s 20+ year legacy codebase? Or will One Click’s €40m war-chest allow them to buy or build their way to success?

In my opinion, the advent of large language models and the availability of material databases are the building blocks for EPD generation. The market still has some concerns though. I spoke to someone responsible for tech procurement at a large European general contractor. They were concerned about the liability and damages from incorrect LCAs from bad EPDs. Their worst case scenario would be the following:

  • they start construction on a project, and choose a particular product based on its EPD (eg steel framing)
  • their project’s total GWP complies with relevant carbon budget regulations
  • after construction, they realise there was a mistake in the auto generated EPD
  • the project has now completely exceeded its carbon budget
  • who’s on the hook for fixing this?

These problems are surmountable, but I can empathise with these concerns. Would any startups really want to be liable for the quality of their AI generated EPDs? We’ve seen enough issues in LLMs to be wary. And if the startup refuses liability, will material producers feel comfortable with this?

EPDs are a good thing. They bring clarity and transparency to a previously opaque area. There’s also potential for huge greenhouse gas savings: all though decreasing embodied carbon. But, the value chains are complex (startups -> material producers -> contractors -> architects -> owners). The regulatory framework is fragmented. And things are changing quickly.

My predictions for the future

What does this mean for the built environment? Here are my predictions and what I’d like to see:

  1. The zeroth axiom, upon which all my predictions rest, is that we’ll see more regulation to decrease embodied carbon. The mechanism doesn’t matter. What’s key is that this regulation will introduce a need to report on embodied carbon.
  2. This grows the market for tools like One Click LCA, Vizcab and others. There are many solutions, all focusing on different parts of the value chain. I expect to see consolidation. I also suspect players like Autodesk or the Nemetschek group will begin to move in here. Integration is one approach, and acquisition is the other.
  3. I’d like to see European and US level consolidation for LCA methodology. This could be mandated top-down, or arise organically with the market picking a preferred approach. This will reduce some of the comparability problems we saw with LCAs earlier.
  4. EPDs will become more common, bringing LCA usage away from material databases. I’m curious what some material database startups will do. Will they pivot into EPD databases, or become something else? Kompozite, a French startup, has already done this. They previously had a building materials database. They have since shuttered this and are now tracking Scope 3 for construction.
  5. EPDs will offer material producers a competitive edge. If I were a developer, trying to meet a carbon budget, I’d pick the product with the lowest reportable GWP. The keyword here is reportable. ACME Ltd could produce a type of concrete that is 5x lower than the benchmark. But without an EPD, why would I use it? ACME’s „wundercement“ may be 5x lower than the benchmark, but without an EPD I can only report the benchmark. The product might be better in real life, but without an EPD it’s not attractive. This market demand will fuel the need for EPD generative software. I’m really intrigued by the unit economics of these companies. Is there sufficient value in just generating EPDs? Or will these startups expand to become a marketplace and lead generation tool for their clients, linking material producers to potential customers?
  6. These LCAs and EPDs are pre-construction. We need to make sure the constructed building meets the forecast carbon budget. This requires checks during construction (to course-correct) but also an audit post construction. There are good startups enabling these course-corrections. But what about the post construction audit? Tech platforms used by the developer won’t be enough. I’d like to see 3rd party audits and carbon assessments. Ideally these would be legally mandated. However we lack the skilled workforce to do this en-masse. We know there’s a surge in EdTech startups helping build the skilled workforce for the transition to Net Zero. Our portfolio company Greenworkx is one of them, and Sifted published a piece last week on this topic. Could this be the start of a new labour shortage?

This is an interesting space, and it fits neatly into several megatrends. It’s also one I’ve been watching for some time. We’ve not made an investment into this space yet, but we have spoken to many of the startups mentioned above (as well as many others not mentioned). These LCA and EPD processes have always been very text heavy, and existing examples are full of unstructured data. Advances in LLM have sparked this paradigm shift we’re seeing: now tech can produce the necessary paragraphs and learn from the existing ones. As always, if you’re building in this space or would like to discuss further – please reach out to burhan@pt1.vc


  1. World Green Building Council, “Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront”, https://worldgbc.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/22123951/WorldGBC_Bringing_Embodied_Carbon_Upfront.pdf
  2. https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/embodied-carbon-addressing-now-the-hidden-carbon-cost-of-our-buildings/
  3. https://carbonleadershipforum.org/tangible-next-era-building-codes/
  4. https://www.statistiques.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/edition-numerique/chiffres-cles-du-climat-decembre-2022/en/23-state-policies-to-combat-climate
  5. https://www.agora-energiewende.org/international/success-stories/reducing-embodied-carbon-in-construction-materials-re2020-in-france-1#:~:text=Reducing embodied carbon in construction materials%3A RE2020 in France,-Region%3A France&text=In France%2C up to 90,a cap on those emissions.
  6. https://www.preoptima.com/the-carbon-source/embodied-carbon-regulations
  7. https://vbn.aau.dk/ws/portalfiles/portal/545269068/sustainability-15-10992.pdf
  8. https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/-/1410903/parliament-adopted-acts-that-will-reduce-emissions-from-building-and-promote-digitalisation
  9. https://mantledev.com/insights/toronto-becomes-first-jurisdiction-in-north-america-to-enact-whole-building-embodied-carbon-caps-on-new-city-owned-buildings/
  10. Antti Säynäjoki et al 2017 Environ. Res. Lett. 12 013001
  11. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09613218.2023.2236254
  12. https://2050-materials.com/blog/comparing-differences-in-building-life-cycle-assessment-methodologies/
  13. https://carbonleadershipforum.org/2021-material-baseline-report/, graph created by PT1
  14. https://bit.ly/2023-EPD., graph and data from Jane Anderson, ConstructionLCA
  15. https://buildingtransparency.org/ec3/material-search, data extracted on 18th March 2024
Burhan Pisavadi

Burhan Pisavadi

Lennart Schlegel

Investor Relations & Marketing Associate

Lennart brings a unique blend of expertise in investor relations and Venture Capital. Previously, he worked at Query Capital Corp., a placement agent boutique, supporting European and US-based VC and secondary funds in their #fundraising activities as well as direct placements of deals in GP and LP networks.

In his new role at PT1, Lennart will be instrumental in supporting our team, particularly in the development of our Fund II. Additionally, he will explore potential future club deals, further strengthen our partnerships and expand our investment opportunities.

Lennart  holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the The University of Bonn and the University of Leuven. His interdisciplinary background, coupled with his industry experience, makes him a valuable addition to our team.

Louise Richnau

Venture Partner

Louise Richnau has worked in the real estate sector for the last 30 years, covering investments, transactions, financing, the establishment of new businesses and sustainability issues. As a veteran real estate professional with a passion for people, business, ESG and constant improvement, she has gained previous experience from AP-fonderna (1-3), operating in a listed environment (Drott Riks AB) and from the partner-owned financial advisor Nordanö.

Louise Richnau has also been responsible for the establishment of Brunswick Real Estate Capital, the first Nordic institutional real estate credit fund (today Niam Credit). Apart from being a Venture Partner at PT1, today she manages her own investments, often in a story capacity or on board assignments. She is a board member of STING’s (Stockholm Innovation & Growth) funds and Sunna Group as well as an advisor for Selma.

Louise Richnau holds a master in Engineering with a degree in construction and real estate economics from the Royal Institute of Technology, is a certified financial analyst (CEFA) from the Stockholm School of Economics and a certified ESG analyst (CESGA) from the EFFAS Academy.

Jannik De Winter

Strategy & Business Development

After completing his M.Sc. finance degree at the International School of Management and the INSEEC with a research focus on ESG considerations in the VC Industry, Jannik worked as a Strategy & Innovation Manager at the leading sustainable finance CRE bank Berlin Hyp. There he gained vast experience in the PropTech environment and worked on the development of green loan products. Following his work at Berlin Hyp, he worked as a startup financing specialist at IBB Capital, distributing public equity funding (provided by the federal state of Berlin and KfW) to Berlin-based startups during the Corona crisis.

At PT1, he is now responsible for developing and scaling new products / fund concepts (e.g. club deals) as well as for creating strategic ideas on the general business development. Besides his activities at PT1, Jannik is also lecturing basics of ESG and climate risks to banking students at Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR).

Sally Jones

Venture Partner

Sally Jones is an experienced real estate professional, having been Head of Strategy, Digital and Technology and member of the Executive Committee of British Land, one of the largest property development and investment companies in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1856 in London, British Land owns or manages a portfolio of high quality UK commercial properties valued at £14.1bn, making it one of Europe’s largest listed real estate investment companies. Sally Jones is also Non-Executive Director at the tenant experience platform Equiem after having been Member of the Advisory Board at WiredScore, the global certification for technology in the built world.

David Wortmann

Venture Partner

David Wortmann is founder and Managing Director of DWR eco, a leading strategy, communications and policy consultancy in the field of CleanTech, sustainability and future technologies, based in Berlin with field offices in Brussels, the U.S., South America and Australia, among others. David has now been promoting the introduction and dissemination of new business models and technologies for a green economy at the interfaces between industry, politics and the public for around 20 years.

David is also the initiator of the Eco Innovation Alliance, a B2B network of the most important CleanTech startups from the German-speaking region.

Andreas Wende

Venture Partner

Andreas was from 1996 Commercial Director North (CFO) of Deutsche Telekom AG for five and a half years, with a clear focus on real estate. For about eight years Andreas Wende then worked for STRABAG PFS (at that time DeTeImmobilien) as Branch Manager North, responsible for the nationwide sales of property management and facility management services as well as a board member at STRABAG Hungary for two years. Following the successful sale of DeTeImmobilien to STRABAG in 2009, Andreas assumed responsibility for the Northern Germany area of Jones Lang LaSalle.

The GreenLease working group, co-initiated by Andreas, won the Real Estate Manager Award in the sustainability category in 2013. From 2013 to 2016, Andreas was COO and Head of Investment of Savills Immobilien Beratungs GmbH. Andreas has been founder and CEO of the Arena Group since 2016 and since 2017 COO and Managing Partner of NAI Apollo, one of the leading real estate consulting firms.

Andreas von Blottnitz

Senior Advisor &
Member of the Limited Partner Advisory Committee

Andreas von Blottnitz, together with his business partner Jan Henric Buettner, built up BV Capital / e.ventures (rebranded to Headline) to an internationally renowned venture capital investor after founding AOL Europe and becoming Managing Director of AOL Germany in 1997 (exit for a total of approx. $10 billion). As a serial entrepreneur he continued to celebrate successes such as serving as President and CEO of Expertcity (exit to Citrix Systems for $225 million). Since 2007, he has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of the software company AppFolio, which under his aegis made the move to NASDAQ. Andreas von Blottnitz is also a long-standing venture capital investor with board and advisory board positions in numerous technology startups such as Sonos and Speakeasy.

Christian Vollmann

Venture Partner &
Member of the Investment Committee Panel

Christian Vollmann, as founder and business angel, is one of the most prominent players in the German startup ecosystem. After starting in the Samwer startups Alando and Jamba, he founded the dating portal iLove in 2003 and the video platform MyVideo in 2006. Subsequently, he has been working for eDarling as a participating Managing Director and later founded nebenan.de, a social network for neighborly living.

His investments as a business angel include ResearchGate, Trivago, Moneybookers (Skrill), studiVZ, and Friendsurance. Christian Vollmann was elected „Business Angel of the Year 2017“ and personally holds over 50 active startup investments. He is currently founder and CEO of the green methane startup C1 Green Chemicals.

Sander van de Rijdt

Venture Partner

After studying at the Vienna University of Technology and Vienna University of Economics, Sander worked for an international consulting group. From 2006, he launched several IT companies with operations in Europe, the U.S., the Middle East and Central Asia and guided them from idea to growth company, leveraging his international experience as a business consultant.

Afterwards, he co-founded PlanRadar where he was responsible for the corporate and growth strategy as well as the finance, HR, legal and administration departments. In 2022, PlanRadar won the EY Scale-up award, where Sander was also a winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Timo Tschammler

Venture Partner

Until recently, Timo Tschammler was CEO of JLL Germany, where he held executive responsibility for more than 1,000 employees. His core responsibilities at the leading provider of real estate services included the expansion of the German digitization strategy, which included the development of proprietary business models such as JLL’s own online commercial real estate portal. During his eight-year tenure at JLL Germany, annual revenue grew rapidly to several hundred million euros.

In September 2020, Timo Tschammler left the company to focus on the activities of his consulting company TwainTowers and his private investment activities, which are expressed, among others, in his involvement with PT1. Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle, Timo Tschammler was CEO of the real estate consultancy DTZ Germany, which subsequently merged with Cushman & Wakefield.

Dr. Peter Staub

Venture Partner

Peter Staub is CEO and founder of pom+, the leading Swiss consulting firm that advises real estate companies on digitization strategy and technology deployment. Peter Staub is regarded as one of the most active experts in the Swiss PropTech segment and organizes the annual Digital Real Estate Conference, holds the „Digital Real Estate“ Chair at the Zurich University of Economics (HWZ), is responsible for the LAB100 innovation laboratory and is an active business angel with PropTech focus.

Jakob Soravia

Venture Partner

Jakob spent his childhood in Vienna, Austria, as a son of a Family with a background of 140 years in the construction and real estate industry that has built up the SORAVIA Group with a project volume of €7 billion. Jakob moved to the United Kingdom during his teenage years, finishing both school and university in England. Throughout his business management degree at King’s College London, Jakob complimented the theoretical learnings with a range of practical experience. This includes working at Corestate Capital and Strabag, providing valuable insights into the workings of the real estate industry. While supporting the private investor network at btov Partners, Jakob gained valuable venture capital experience. He then spent time as an Investment Manager at PT1 before moving on to Sector7 Investors to further broaden his horizon. Due to the trusting collaboration, Jakob remains associated to PT1 as Venture Partner.

Dr. Beat Schwab

Venture Partner

Beat Schwab was Head of Global Real Estate in the Asset Management division of Credit Suisse, one of the world’s largest real estate asset managers with over €50 billion in assets under management. Prior to that, he was CEO of Wincasa, Switzerland’s leading property manager. His current positions include Chairman of

the Board of Zug Estates, a real estate company listed on the Swiss stock exchange, and Member of the Board of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and Raiffeisen Schweiz Genossenschaft. In addition, he has been active as a business angel in the PropTech environment for several years. In the role of Venture Partner, he contributes comprehensive expertise in asset and property management as well as his network from decades of career in the real estate sector.

Birgit Rahn-Werner

Venture Partner

Birgit Werner MRICS is one of the leading Swiss real estate managers and Honorary Chair Switzerland as well as Global Trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). With her Indevise Group AG, she is responsible for various active investments, developments, and advisories with concerning digitalization and future trends. This includes REALCUBE, the partner ecosystem for digital asset management.

Robert Oettl

Venture Partner

Robert Oettl has been working in the field of planning, construction and management of complex buildings for more than 20 years. The cgmunich GmbH, which he founded with two partners in 2002, quickly established itself as a consultancy for the optimization of real estate management.

From 2014 to 2021, the engineer for production and automation technology worked for the TÜV SÜD Group in various companies related to the real estate life cycle for strategic product and corporate development. Among other positions, he was Managing Director and CEO of TÜV SÜD Advimo GmbH from 2016 to 2021. TÜV SÜD Advimo is a consultant and manager lifecycle partner for professional real estate users, owners and operators. TÜV SÜD Advimo is among the TOP3 Property Managers (Bell Report 2016-2020) and TOP3 Lift Managers in Germany.

Robert Oettl is also active as a business angel, senior advisor and advisory board / supervisory board member in the startup environment.

Nicholas Neerpasch

Venture Partner

Nicholas Neerpasch is a Diploma Architect and holds a Bachelor’s degree. He began his career in 2001 as an employee in the renowned architectural firm of Zaha Hadid Architects in London. He then worked for six years as a consultant at the management consultancy Ernst & Young in Berlin, further developing his expertise in the real estate sector. With the necessary specialist knowledge, he immediately succeeded in taking the first step into self-employment in 2007 when he founded his first own company, acht+ Baumanagement und Immobilienberatung GmbH, in 2010. He left the successful company in 2012 to join the GFP Group as Managing Partner (successful exit). In 2014, he founded the now million-funded PropTech startup Doozer, a marketplace for modernization management.

Marius Marschall
von Bieberstein

Venture Partner

Marius Marschall von Bieberstein began his career after studying European Business with a management trainee program at Mercedes Benz Bank AG in Stuttgart. He then held positions in various Daimler Group companies in the areas of sales and business development at national and European levels.

In 2006, Benjamin Otto (from the Hamburg UHNWI family) and Marius Marschall founded their first joint venture. In the following years, further construction and technology-oriented business areas were established and purchased. Since 2009 Marius developed many real estate projects with his main company evoreal. He is also a co-founder and key shareholder in FORTIS Group (around 50 RE privatization projects).

Even before it was common practice to summarize startups from the real estate sector under the term „PropTech“, he began to make investments in this sector with his investment vehicle ImmoTech Ventures.

Michael Lowak

Venture Partner

After studying mechanical engineering, Michael initially worked at Braun AG as a product manager. From 1999 to 2009, he was responsible for building up the energy services business at MVV Energie, becoming the Managing Director from 2003 onwards. From 2010 to 2013, Michael was a member of the Executive Board at Kofler Energies AG and in November 2010, he became the Chairman of the Executive Board. In 2013, Michael moved to GETEC WÄRME & EFFIZIENZ as a member of the Executive Board and has been Chairman of the Executive Board since 2015. Since January 2022, Michael is the CEO of GETEC Germany.

Michael is part of the ZIA – German Property Federation and also sits as Vice Chairman on the Committee for Energy and Technology Business Council and the Committee for Real Estate and Smart Cities.

Ibrahim Imam

Venture Partner

After studying Economics and Computer Science at the Vienna University of Technology, alongside Sander Van de Rijdt, Ibrahim launched 5 IT companies with operations in Europe, the U.S., the Middle East and Central Asia, leveraging his 15+ years of experience in marketing & sales and his network to drive these companies from concept to growth.

Afterwards, he co-founded PlanRadar where he was responsible corporate and growth strategy as well as all the go-to-market teams – the departments of marketing, business development, sales, channel management and customer success report to him. In 2022, PlanRadar won the EY Scale-up award where Ibrahim was also a winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Klaus Freiberg

Venture Partner &
Member of the Investment Committee Panel

Klaus Freiberg until May 2019 was Member of the Board & COO and played a significant role in the success of the DAX-listed real estate company Vonovia SE, which is today the largest non-state owned residential real estate owner in Europe, growing the total number of employees to around 10,000 during his tenure. After

the resignation at his personal request, he remains true to his entrepreneurial spirit as business angel and founder & CEO of the company builder 1648 factory as well as as Non-executive Chairman at ecoworks. Before his approximately 10 years at Vonovia, Klaus Freiberg was Managing Director of the Arvato Group, where he took over and optimised service centres of, for example, Deutsche Post or Deutsche Telekom.

Kristofer Fichtner

Venture Partner

Kristofer Fichtner has supported energy companies as a management consultant for many years and then turned into a serial entrepreneur. He set up two own startups in the mobile sector before he co-founded Thermondo, a leading German provider of heating solutions (partial exit).

As an active PropTech Angel, he is also deeply rooted in the startup scene and the first point of contact for all construction and energy-related topics.

Jan Henric Buettner

Senior Advisor &
Member of the Investment Committee Panel

Jan Henric Buettner’s career has been focused on new technologies from the beginning. As early as 1988, he was involved in Axel Springer’s efforts to acquire the D2 mobile communications license, which at the time represented the start of private mobile communications in Germany. In 1994, he became Managing Director of AOL Germany, which resulted in the sale of Bertelsmann’s shares to the American AOL parent company for a total of approximately $10 billion. Finally, as one of the German venture capital pioneers, he founded his first own VC fund, BV Capital, in 1997, which later changed its name to e.ventures (today Headline), with offices in San Francisco, Hamburg, Berlin, Tokyo, São Paulo, and Beijing. Subsequently, Jan Henric Buettner bought the Weissenhaus estate at the Baltic Sea, completely restored it for almost €100 million and converted it into a luxury resort.

Nicole Kemmel

Back Office

Nicole Kemmel is a trained legal and notary assistant and has been working in team of Cooperativa – the predecessor to ERIC, the fund manager of PT1 – for many years in the administrative and commercial handling of various investment transactions as well as portfolio management. Under the direction of Anja Rath, she also acts as the interface to all external service partners. With her many years of experience in the efficient handling of administrative and accounting tasks, she now supports the fund administration of PT1.

Tanja Takides

Fund Administration


Uta Wasserberg

Fund Administration

Uta Wasserberg holds a degree in Business Administration (Technical University of Berlin) with a major in taxation. After years of experience in leading positions in controlling, reporting, as well as tax and liquidity planning, she now supports our team in commercial and administrative areas.

Tzvete Doncheva

Investor Relations Lead

After working as one of the youngest international correspondents for Bulgarian privately-owned TV media group BTV, Tzvete Doncheva used her background as a journalist to transition to tech business development. She entered the tech sector as a first employee for an alternative co-working PropTech startup, where she headed BD and operations. Following this, she did a short stint at Bosch’s urban mobility co-creation hub in London, helping to create a ‘mobility innovation ecosystem’, bringing together entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors and public sector executives.

Her interest in the financing side of tech startups lead her to explore a career in venture capital. She has been working in PropTech (VC) ever since 2019, when she joined the London-based VC spinout of multinational real estate investment manager Round Hill Capital / Ventures. Tzvete is with PT1 since 2021, where she leads the firm’s IR efforts, supporting the Managing Partners in fundraising, and market expansion.

Tzvete’s varied experience across different areas of the finance industry helped her to understand the challenges innovators face when accessing early stage capital – an awareness that fueled her drive and efforts to bring more diversity in PropTech and venture capital.

Theo Bonick

Corporate Communications Lead

Theo Bonick holds an interdisciplinary BA from the Free University of Berlin and the University of Colorado and worked for several years in various startups in editorial, online and content marketing. He joined the team of Cooperativa – the predecessor to ERIC, the fund manager of PT1 – in the context of an IPO project and has been fully responsible for public relations as well as marketing at PT1 since the launch of the fund.

Sebastian Rehbein

Portfolio Manager

Sebastian has already worked in various startups in business development positions, e.g. at the PropTech company Weissmaler, NKF Media, the publisher of the startup magazine Berlin Valley, or the Rocket Internet FinTech Innolend. Sebastian holds a BA in entrepreneurship from the Berlin School of Economics and Law. Since 2018 he has been a member of the transaction team of Cooperativa – the predecessor to ERIC, the fund manager of PT1 – and is now responsible for portfolio management, syndication and M&A/exits at PT1.

Burhan Pisavadi

Investment Manager

Burhan was the first employee at Gridizen, a UK PropTech, and was responsible for their technology and product. At Gridizen, Burhan designed, architected and launched the UK’s first ESG reporting tool for the social housing sector. In addition to this, Burhan was the co-founder and CTO of Mentyoo, an EdTech startup that brings mentoring to underrepresented communities. Burhan holds a first-class master’s degree in theoretical physics with a focus in climate modeling from Imperial College London. Since 2022, he has been a member of the investment team of PT1. Here, Burhan focuses on companies which are decarbonising buildings and infrastructure, planning adaptations for climate change and those which are deep-tech.

In his spare time, Burhan is a climber, cook (currently cooking his way through the Noma Guide to Fermentation), tabletop gamer (Pathfinder) and an active blogger (bp.simple.ink).

Fabian König

Investment Manager

As Investment Manager at PT1, Fabian explores startups developing transformative real estate and construction technologies. Building on his background in finance, data science and human-centered design, he gained operational startup experience as CFO of one of the first VC funded crypto startups in Germany. Having researched ML models in the VC space, he is particularly interested in applying data science to the VC deal flow. Accordingly, besides investment management he is also responsible for advancing the fund’s tech stack.


Kingma Ma

Managing Director UK

Coming from an entrepreneurial family background, Kingma started at an early age to engage in business matters. After his studies and some early graduate as a strategy consultant and product manager, he became increasingly drawn into the startup ecosystem and co-founded his own social care startup, GoCarer. After the startup became a non-profit, he joined a newly formed PropTech-focused venture capital investor at European real estate private equity company Round Hill Capital.

Today, Kingma is heading the London office of PT1 – PropTech1 Ventures as Managing Director UK. When he is not busy generating and analysing investment targets, he is passionate in growing an active network of both investors and operators in the UK startup community, of which he has become a central part: He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the UK PropTech Association as well as part of the Advisory Group for the UK Green Building Council. He has won several awards for his achievements and regularly features in both startup and PropTech-focussed conferences and media content.

Klara Ritter

Associate Partner

After successfully completing her Bachelor’s degree in business administration at Vienna University of Economics and Business, she gained first professional experience in the FMCG industry, both in a startup and in the corporate environment, as well as in innovation management of a tech group. As a venture capital analyst at SIGNA Innovations she was able to combine her passion for technology and innovation and gained deep insights into the PropTech world. After a short detour back to university, she graduated with a M.Sc. in strategic management at the Rotterdam School of Management and is since 2020 part of the investment team of PT1.

Anja Rath

Managing Director

As early as 1998, Anja joined her first startup immediately after finishing her A-Levels (Abitur), initially as an intern in the finance department. This startup was one of the first companies co-founded by Nikolas Samios in Munich. She quickly assumed more responsibility in the growing company and soon replaced the previous COO/CFO in all his duties.


Parallel to her work in financial management, organizational development, and general management, Anja studied part-time at the British OU University in Milton Keynes and received both a Master’s in International Finance and an MBA.

After many years of first-hand experience in corporate management, Anja increasingly specialized in supporting other founders and their shareholders in growth and turnaround situations and structured numerous financing rounds, mergers, and exits, often taking on interim CFO mandates. Together with Nikolas Samios, she also set up Brandenburg Ventures GmbH, the VC investment entity of MP3 inventor Prof. Karlheinz Brandenburg and advised numerous listed companies on corporate venture capital programs, portfolio, and M&A aspects.

Together with Nikolas, Anja is co-author of the venture capital standard reference book DEALTERMS.VC. She is furthermore a member of the Extended Board of Directors of the Startup-Verband (German Startup Association).

Nikolas Samios

Managing Director

Nikolas Samios is a serial entrepreneur, long-time expert for transformational startups and venture capital and early sustainability advocate.

He founded his first company around 25 years ago in parallel to doing A-Levels in Munich, Germany, and was quickly sucked into the grand new thing called „the Internet“, mainly helping traditional industries like print publishers, TV stations, retail chains or banks to digitise their businesses.

Around 15 years ago, he increasingly focused on the transactional aspects, financing, buying and selling startups. He set up a special family office for like-minded Internet entrepreneurs and venture capital investors that, for example, built up and managed the personal investment holdings of MP3 inventor Prof. Karlheinz Brandenburg and AOL Europe founder Jan Henric Buettner.

After many years, participating in more than 100 venture capital transactions and co-authoring the German reference book on venture capital methodology DEALTERMS.VC, he co-founded PT1 – PropTech1 Ventures, one of the first PropTech/ConstructionTech venture capital funds in Europe and most likely the first ESG SFDR article 8 fund in this segment. PT1 is a fully independent early-stage venture capital platform that fuels #Futurebuilders on their mission to apply transformative real estate technologies, generating double returns for its investors and society.

He was also appointed “Co-Chairman” of the PropTech platform of leading German real estate association ZIA as well as Deputy Chairman of the Young Digital Economy Advisory Board to German federal minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck. Furthermore, Nikolas is part of the committees of multiple leading industry awards and events (e.g. QUO VADIS, ZIA TDI – Tag der Immobilienwirtschaft). He was recently awarded “Head of the Year 2023” by Immobilienmanager magazine.

Nikolas is living with his wife and two kids in Berlin, is privately supporting many NGOs around sustainable transformation and is a member of Leaders for Climate Action. In his rare spare time, he is an enthusiastic musician and music producer.

Kosta Matsoukas

Associate Partner

Kosta combines sound theoretical knowledge with practical know-how. After successfully completing his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his master’s degree in strategy and innovation, Kosta gained diverse experience on both sides of the negotiating table, for example at the startups Learnity.com and Infarm as well as at the investors Rheingau Founders and Wayra. He has been an active member of the PropTech1 investment team since 2020.