As part of its effort to expand and strengthen its global innovation strategy through key partnerships, PGIM Real Estate has acquired a strategic equity stake in Taronga Ventures, further supported by a commitment to Taronga’s RealTech Ventures Fund. 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. (NYSE: PRU).
“Venture capital partners are critical to helping us scale our own innovation efforts and remain at the forefront of digital evolution,” said Sara Shank, managing director and global head of innovation at PGIM Real Estate. “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.”
Taronga Ventures is the leading 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 into 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 CBRE (NYSE: CBRE), Dexus (AXS: DXS), and Patrizia AG (ETR: PAT), that have invested in the Fund.
“In today’s market, employing technologies that can drive better investment performance and operational efficiencies is imperative to maintaining our competitive advantage,” said Benett Theseira, PGIM Real Estate’s head of Asia Pacific. “Real estate is a long-term investment, which makes it especially critical that we stay ahead of innovations that will directly impact the performance and value of our assets.”
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. This effort will advance the firm’s investment decision-making and business operations globally by harnessing data and technology in new ways.
The partnership with Taronga follows PGIM Real Estate’s investments in the U.S. 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.
“Institutional capital is now demanding that investment managers are at the forefront of innovation and technology. As one of the world’s leading investors, we look forward to working with PGIM Real Estate to drive change through the real estate sector and broader built environment,” said Jonathan Hannam, Taronga Ventures co-founder and managing partner.
“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 utilizing artificial intelligence to develop safer assets and cities, there is a significant depth of opportunity,” said Avi Naidu, Taronga Ventures co-founder and managing partner.
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.