Aldar invests in Taronga Ventures to tap into PropTech boom in Asia-Pacific

The deal marks Abu Dhabi developer's fifth real estate technology fund investment

Aldar headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The investment in Taronga is Aldar’s first in a property fund in the Asia-Pacific region. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Aldar Properties has invested in Taronga Ventures, a property technology investor operating across the Asia-Pacific region, as it seeks to diversify operations and expand.

Through the partnership, Aldar, the biggest property developer in Abu Dhabi, will gain access to technology co-investment opportunities providing "additional revenue streams and new efficiencies" for its portfolio, the developer said in a statement on Tuesday.

The agreement aims to increase the exchange of technological know-how and ideas in the Middle East and focus on sustainable solutions.

The size of the investment was not disclosed.

Maan Al Awlaqi, Aldar’s executive director of strategy and transformation, said: “By tapping into technology and tech-enabled companies across the world, Aldar is not only able to further diversify its business but crucially, it is able to facilitate the transfer of innovation to the Middle East's real estate market."

Investors have increasingly focused on PropTech after the coronavirus pandemic forced companies, including those in the property sector, to digitise to ensure business continuity.

Connected buildings, analytics, mortgage solutions, blockchain and online viewing technology are among the key focus areas for PropTech companies, which are looking to disrupt the traditional market through digital solutions for the entire property value chain.

Maan Al Awlaqi, Aldar’s executive director of strategy and transformation. Photo: Aldar

The investment in Taronga is Aldar’s first in a property fund in the Apac region, where investment in PropTech is expected to reach $26 billion by 2024, said Unissa, a global platform for PropTech procurement.

Taronga invests in "innovation-driven companies" and provides strategic access to its network of property co-investors. It is also a certified carbon-neutral platform and prioritises collaboration with companies aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Jonathan Hannam, co-founder and managing partner of Taronga Ventures, said: "We can see immediate growth opportunities for many of the fund’s investments within the existing Aldar portfolio and especially in new developments being undertaken by the group.

"We will also be working closely with Aldar to further develop the technology ecosystem in the Middle East.”

The partnership is Aldar’s fifth in a property technology fund and diversifies the developer's exposure to the sector, the statement said. Its investments in the funds are part of the company’s strategy to boost innovation and support start-ups.

It also offers incubation programmes for start-ups in complementary sectors such as the Aldar Scale Up programme, which focuses on enabling the development of the PropTech sector in the UAE, and the Manassah initiative, an entrepreneurship incubator that supports retail technology start-ups across the Middle East and North Africa.

Updated: June 21, 2022, 12:05 PM