Taronga Ventures continues to sign up marquee investors for its flagship proptech fund, winning commitments from two of the best-known names in Japan’s business world.
Taronga announced last week that Mitsubishi Corporation and Nomura Real Estate Development had agreed to come aboard as strategic partners. The pair will invest in the firm’s RealTech Ventures Fund, joining a line-up of heavyweights that includes Grosvenor, PGIM, CBRE, Australia’s Dexus and Germany’s Patrizia.
One of the largest conglomerates in the world, Mitsubishi Corporation — whose urban development capability spans housing, retail and heavy infrastructure — will leverage Taronga’s expertise in real estate and infrastructure tech and its understanding of the complexities across Asian markets, Sydney-based Taronga said in a release.
“We are very pleased to welcome Mitsubishi Corporation as a strategic partner and investor,” said Avi Naidu, co-founder and managing partner of Taronga Ventures. “The group is uniquely positioned to create scaled impact of new technologies across the built environment.”
A major developer in Japan and across Asia, Nomura Real Estate Development in its most recent annual report has identified technological innovation in its development, operations and transactions as a way to limit risk, going so far as to set up a special unit to support the emergence of innovation and technology in the property sector.
“Bringing Taronga’s unique expertise in real estate technology and its understanding of Asian markets into our organisation will further accelerate our innovation drive,” said Takashi Kaku, executive vice president and representative director at Nomura Real Estate Development, an affiliate of the giant finance group.
The amounts pledged by the two Japanese companies were undisclosed, but Taronga in April said it had upgraded its initial $50 million target for the RealTech Ventures Fund to a range of $75 million to $100 million. Taronga expects a final closing for the fund by mid-2021.
The fund’s key investments include the CarbonCure system, which reduces a building’s carbon footprint by introducing recycled CO2 into fresh concrete. Taronga also backs construction project monitoring software OpenSpace, which provides 360-degree photo documentation of sites and automated progress tracking.
The pooled capital vehicle will make two or three investments per quarter, Taronga managing partner Jonathan Hannam told Mingtiandi in April.
“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 said at the time.
The capital commitments by Japanese firms follow UK developer Grosvenor’s April announcement that it was investing in the RealTech Ventures Fund.
Grosvenor, a centuries-old investment group controlled by the Duke of Westminster and his family, praised Taronga as “leaders in the space” of real estate technology.
The link-up with Grosvenor came 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.
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.