Singapore-based RealVantage was named the “Investment Tech of the Year” at the Asia Fintech Awards last week, as the real estate investment startup eyes further expansion under the new leadership of former ARA Asset Management executive Beng Tiong Ng.
Four months after leaving ARA – now part of logistics giant ESR Group – Ng joined RealVantage as chairman earlier this month to lead the firm’s expansion in Asia Pacific. Based in Singapore, the platform now plans to set up offices in Hong Kong and Australia, as well as adding assets in Japan and South Korea to its offerings.
“The online platform is borderless, it can grow very, very big… so we think we can grow RealVantage to be one of the leading firms and we have several directions in which we want to expand,” Ng told Mingtiandi in a recent interview. “We are looking at adding more investment markets to the universe, for instance, Japan, Korea, and in the mid-term, some European countries and China.”
RealVantage was recognized in the annual Asia Fintech Awards as the top tech-based investment platform to give users access to “diversified global, high-performing portfolio spread across global markets.”
Geographic Expansion A Priority
In his new role, Ng will lead RealVantage’s growth as chairman and advisor, while holding a seat in the investment committee responsible for evaluating and approving deals. In his new role he is reunited with Keith Ong, who co-founded and acts as CEO of RealVantage, who spent nearly a decade at ARA before exiting in mid-2015.
Ng said the platform aims to introduce property investments in Japan and South Korea to grow a set of markets that currently includes the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
“In the middle term, we also want to add China and some European countries because these are big markets that we cannot ignore, but given the problems they have at this moment, we think we want to channel resources to Japan and Korea first,” he said.
He said RealVantage also plans to expand its investor base by setting up additional offices around the region, starting with locations in Australia and Hong Kong.
The online investment platform has raised over S$50 million ($34.82 million) to date with the new leadership targeting to grow the fund size by tenfold to S$500 million. With a base of more than 2,000 members, RealVantage allows family offices and individuals access to invest directly into institutional-grade properties either through equity or debt instruments.
Double Digit Returns
In the same interview with Mingtiandi, Ong highlighted the double-digit internal rate of returns (IRRs) RealVantage has generated in past transactions.
He said RealVantage has already realised at least 10 deals, with one multi-family project in the US delivering a 37 percent IRR upon closing, net of taxes and fees, and another residential development deal in Australia that yielded a net IRR of 17 percent.
The company CEO said RealVantage is also on track to deliver a 20 percent IRR on two ongoing residential development deals in Sydney.