UK developer Grosvenor has invested an undisclosed amount in the latest closing of Taronga Ventures’ RealTech Ventures Fund, following in the footsteps of heavyweights like PGIM, CBRE, Australia’s Dexus and Germany’s Patrizia.
The commitment by Grosvenor, a centuries-old investment group controlled by the Duke of Westminster and his family, is the latest win for Taronga, which has upgraded its initial $50 million target for the fund to a range of $75 million to $100 million. The Sydney-based proptech investor expects a final closing by mid-2021.
In announcing the investment last week, Grosvenor praised Taronga’s role in uncovering new ideas in real estate technology.
“There is no doubt that our industry is being significantly impacted by technology,” said Benjamin Cha, chief executive of Grosvenor Asia Pacific. “Partnering with Taronga, who have established themselves as leaders in the space, gives us the opportunity to stay at the cusp of innovation and gain investment exposure to dynamic and growing companies carefully selected and supported by the Taronga team.”
The RealTech Ventures Fund is actively investing, with commitments made to 15 deals and more than a thousand opportunities under review, according to Taronga.
The fund’s marquee investments include the CarbonCure system, which reduces a building’s carbon footprint by introducing recycled CO2 into fresh concrete. This week CarbonCure Technologies, the Canadian firm that produces the concrete manufacturing innovation, was named one of two winners of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE in the US, taking home a $7.5 million grand prize.
Taronga also backs construction project monitoring software OpenSpace, which provides 360-degree photo documentation of sites and automated progress tracking.
The fund will continue to make two or three investments per quarter, said Taronga managing partner Jonathan Hannam.
“We have a minimum investment amount of $10 million for investors and are seeking active investors who are willing to test and trial opportunities within their portfolios,” Hannam told Mingtiandi.
Innovation in Style
The link-up with Grosvenor comes just over two months after US fund manager PGIM Real Estate acquired an equity stake in Taronga, as well as investing in the RealTech Ventures Fund.
“Our partnership with Taronga Ventures provides us with deep access to the firm’s insights and connections into regional real estate technology and innovation,” PGIM Real Estate’s global head of innovation, Sara Shank, said at the time of that February tie-up. “This will allow us to quickly identify and adopt the best products available in a market that is becoming increasingly crowded and fragmented, for the benefit of our investors.”
Taronga has offices in Australia and also in Singapore, where the firm has expanded its RealTech X innovation scheme to accelerate the growth prospects of emerging proptech businesses in the city-state.
Last November, Taronga announced a partnership with Singaporean developer CapitaLand on the Smart Urban Co-Innovation Lab, a smart cities development centre that assists tech firms focused on real estate and the built environment.
Old Group Likes New Asia
Grosvenor has developed and invested in real estate in Asia for over 25 years and has $1.4 billion in assets under management in the region.
Within the region, the group, which traces its origins back to 1677, invests in Greater China and Japan, where it gives priority to opportunities in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta, and Tokyo.
The group’s strategy includes investment and development in the residential, office and retail sectors, with new initiatives emerging in proptech and digital innovation.
Grosvenor’s Greater China business operates mostly through joint ventures with local partners, while the Tokyo business focuses on proprietary development and asset management.