New York-based PGIM Real Estate announced on Wednesday it has acquired a strategic equity stake in Australia-based venture capital firm Taronga Ventures, further supported by a commitment to Taronga’s RealTech Ventures Fund.
The acquisition is part of PGIM’s efforts to expand and strengthen its global innovation strategy through key partnerships, it said.
“Venture capital partners are critical to helping us scale our own innovation efforts and remain at the forefront of digital evolution,” said PGIM Real Estate managing director and global head of innovation Sara Shank in a statement, “Our partnership with Taronga Ventures provides us with deep access to the firm’s insights and connections into regional real estate technology and innovation. 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.”
PGIM Real Estate is the real estate investment and financing business of PGIM, the $1.4 trillion global investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc.
Taronga Ventures is an Asian investment platform focused on emerging real estate and has built world innovation and technology opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region. Through its first RealTech Ventures Fund, the firm invests in globally-scalable companies that enhance or challenge traditional real estate and infrastructure across all property types.
PGIM Real Estate joins a growing list of global real estate firms, including US-based real estate services and investment firm CBRE, Australian real estate investment trust Dexus, and Germany-based real estate investment manager Patrizia AG, that have invested in the fund.
PGIM Real Estate’s investment in the RealTech Ventures Fund marks the latest milestone in the execution of its global innovation strategy, which is focused on developing and implementing new products and data strategies across all of the firm’s functions to remain at the forefront of digital evolution, it said.
The partnership with Taronga follows PGIM Real Estate’s investments in the US to MetaProp NYC’s MetaProp Ventures II and III. The funds invest in startups across the proptech landscape, including in 3D printing, blockchain, co-working/co-living, augmented reality, and digital energy management for all global real estate asset types. PGIM Real Estate intends to invest in a European proptech fund to round out its global strategy, it added.
“The real estate sector has traditionally been slow to innovate, but forward-thinking owners are now creating real value. Whether it is better understanding tenant customers through data capture and deep analytics to provide enhanced experiences; using advanced building materials and methods to dramatically reduce cost and carbon impacts; or utilising artificial intelligence to develop safer assets and cities, there is a significant depth of opportunity,” said Taronga Ventures co-founder and managing partner Avi Naidu.
With 15 investments made since its inception, the RealTech Ventures Fund continues to develop a diverse portfolio, covering critical growth areas including energy and sustainability, construction technology, mobility, tenant and customer health, and well-being.
Taronga’s investments include a number of high-profile technologies such as CarbonCure, which is backed by the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund and Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures.