Former Mirvac Group executive Jonathan Hannam has launched a prop tech fund to deliver innovation to the real estate sector in a move he calls an “Australian first”.
The new fund, Real Tech Ventures aims to drive growth through investments in real estate technology and early-stage companies. It will be managed by the Taronga Group of companies, a property investment focused business Hannam co-founded last year with partner Avi Naidu.
In a presentation, Hannam says he plans to develop strong relationships with the real estate and technology industry, in addition to educational institutes, incubators, previous investment and syndication partners and governments.
He argues new companies emerging from the current creative climate of technology-fueled transformation are disrupting traditional real estate business models.
“However a chasm separates investors and real estate corporates, who need new technologies to future-proof their businesses, and the technology savvy start ups, who need venture capital funding,” Hannam says.
Real Tech Ventures Fund seeks to bridge this divide.
“Taronga will facilitate investor access to leading edge technologies and ideas,” Hannam says.
“We recognise that disruption is a force to be harnessed, and with it comes an opportunity for early-stage investment into a new innovation category: ‘Real Tech’.”
Examples of technologies the fund is looking to invest in include:
- An intelligent lighting solution improving tenant comfort and reducing energy costs
- A location-based social media monitoring and customer experience management platform for venue owners
- A cloud-based building and systems automation system reducing utility, PPE, lifecycle and maintenance costs
- A platform delivering location-based mobile experiences enabling more memorable experience and higher spend per visit
Taronga is seeking to raise AUD 50 million (with the ability to take over-subscriptions) primarily from qualified institutional and corporate investors under a tax-effective Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership structure.
The funds will enable Real Tech Ventures to identify and invest in technology companies that positively impact the built environment, either through business model innovation or product innovation.
“The fund will source, secure and manage investments into early-stage technology ventures in Australia and across the region, supported by a team of investment management executives with deep sector expertise and venture capital experience,” Hannam says.
“Taronga will create Australia’s first real estate-focused technology ecosystem, comprising the fund, a real estate technology accelerator program and a co-working hub for real tech entrepreneurs.”
Hannam and Naidu, a former Mallesons lawyer and Aura Funds Management founder, are joint managing directors of the Taronga Group supported by fund manager Steven Maarbani and investment manager Pathum Dissanayake.
Advisors on the fund include former Abu Dhabi Investment Authority chief investment officer in real estate Mark Burton, former NSW Liberal opposition leader Kerry Chikarovski and current non-executive director of Ardent Leisure and Mantra Group Melanie Willis.