CapitaLand creates US$75mil fund to tap tech startups

  • C31 Ventures targets Series A-C startups from around the world
  • Aiming to tap into startups to build ‘real estate of the future’
CapitaLand creates US$75mil fund to tap tech startups

SINGAPORE-based real estate company CapitaLand Ltd recently announced it is setting up C31 Ventures, a venture fund to tap global tech startups.
Starting with the group’s S$15-million (US$11-million) investment in the Early Stage Venture Fund III (ESVFIII) by Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) in May 2016 for local tech startups, CapitaLand has allocated up to S$100 million (US$75 million) as it seeks “compelling investment opportunities beyond Singapore,” it said in a statement.
C31 Ventures will target Series A to Series C startups that fit into CapitaLand’s focus areas of innovation in energy, operations and maintenance; building and construction; design and building materials; real estate funding as well as customer engagement.
“C31 Ventures will allow CapitaLand to invest in promising tech startups that are relevant and add value to our business,” said president and group chief executive officer Lim Ming Yan.
“CapitaLand’s portfolio of real estate assets offers a living lab to startups where they can validate their ideas and prototypes. Given our strong foothold in Asia, CapitaLand will also serve as a conduit for startups to enter the regional market, especially China.
“CapitaLand is future-proofing its business by leveraging technology to innovate and build the real estate of tomorrow,” he said at the company’s recent ‘Gateway to Asia’ networking event in San Francisco that saw over 50 attendees from startups and venture capital firms in the Bay Area.
Shortlisted startups will be reviewed by an investment committee comprising CapitaLand’s senior management and external advisors, including venture capitalists Foo Jixun (managing partner of GGV Capital) and David Su (managing partner of Matrix Partners China).
The startups will be assessed based on a combination of criteria ranging from speed to market, product and financial viability, to valuation and operating metrics, CapitaLand said.
“Unique to CapitaLand is a real estate portfolio that spans integrated developments, shopping malls, serviced residences, offices and homes, and value chain expertise as a property developer, owner, manager, investor and fund manager,” said Foo.
“Startups from around the world can leverage the Group’s deep domain expertise and validate their innovations across CapitaLand’s real estate portfolio and customer platform.
“C31 Ventures offers not just funding, but experimentation in real-world settings which involves diverse groups of customers and users as co-creators in this validation process,” he added.
Earlier this month, CapitaLand joined the Microsoft Accelerator programme as an official global network partner to provide mentorship to startups as well as gain access to new ideas and technology.
In May, CapitaLand was selected to co-invest in the ESVFIII by NRF, a department within the Prime Minister's Office of Singapore.
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‘Toolbox’ on Singapore startup ecosystem shows it’s soaring
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