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CapitaLand announces venture fund to tap global tech start-ups

Anuradha Shukla | June 21, 2016
US$74-million venture fund to build real estate of the future.

CapitaLand has announced US$74-million venture fund to tap global tech start-ups in a bid to innovate and build real estate of the future.

Called as C31 Ventures, this venture fund will seek compelling investment opportunities beyond Singapore.

It will target Series A to Series C start-up companies with a focus on areas such as innovation in energy, operations and maintenance; building and construction; design and building materials; real estate funding as well as customer engagement.

All shortlisted start-ups will be reviewed by an investment committee comprising CapitaLand's senior management and external advisors, including notable venture capitalists, Foo Jixun, managing partner of GGV Capital and David Su, managing partner of Matrix Partners China.

These start-ups will be assessed based on a combination of criteria ranging from speed to market, product and financial viability, to valuation and operating metrics.

"C31 Ventures will allow CapitaLand to invest in promising tech start-ups that are relevant and add value to our business. CapitaLand's portfolio of real estate assets offers a living lab to start-ups where they can validate their ideas and prototypes," said Lim Ming Yan, president & Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited. "Given our strong foothold in Asia, CapitaLand will also serve as a conduit for start-ups to enter the regional market, especially China."

End of a tech-scout trip

The announcement of C31 Ventures marked the end of a tech-scout trip by CapitaLand in New York and San Francisco. The Group met start-ups including those in the Internet of Things,data analytics, and virtual and augmented reality sectors.

CapitaLand's senior management also met with Microsoft executives at their headquarters in Seattle to know about Microsoft's latest technology for the hospitality, retail, workplace and construction sectors that can be applied to its real estate business.

CapitaLand recently joined the Microsoft Accelerator programme as an official global network partner to provide mentorship to start-ups as well as gain access to new ideas and technology.

In May 2016, CapitaLand was selected to co-invest in the ESVFIII by NRF, a department within the Prime Minister's Office of Singapore. The Group will invest in Singapore tech start-ups with innovations that will complement and enhance its business.

"CapitaLand is future-proofing its business by leveraging technology to innovate and build real estate of tomorrow," added Yan. "As a market leader with scale and depth across the entire real estate value chain, it is incumbent on us to reinvent real estate to work for our customers who are making increasing use of a growing array of online tools in how they live, work and play. We will continue to assess opportunities that will allow us to stay ahead of the curve and seize first-mover advantages."


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