Proptech startup RealVantage launches co-investment platform
By Digital News Asia January 17, 2020
- Singapore startup actively manages investments in the UK, US, Australia until divestment
- Incorporated last year, RealVantage now has over 200 members on their platform
REALVANTAGE, Singapore’s first online real estate co-investment platform that acquires, manages, and optimises offshore real estate portfolios for accredited investors, founded by a team with institutional investment experience, launched on Jan 16.
RealVantage brings accredited investors offshore investment opportunities across various real estate classes and investment strategies.
By launching this co-investment platform, both accredited investors and high net worth individuals (HNWIs) will gain access to a wide range of real estate opportunities in different countries, sectors, and investment spectrums.
Investors will be able to select amongst multiple options, such as a stable income producing office in the United Kingdom, a townhouse development project in Australia, or a multifamily asset re-positioning project in the USA.
RealVantage was founded when Keith Ong and Mao Ching Foo saw synergies in bringing together their complementary expertise in real estate and technology. Being veterans in real estate fund management, technology, and data science, Ong and Foo recognised the potential of leveraging technology to aggregate investors to access larger deals, and deliver superior investment decisioning via data-driven insights.
Chief executive officer Ong said, “We’ve always felt there was a gap in offshore real estate investment opportunities for individual investors; most investors will just buy residential units when they venture overseas. There is actually a myriad of investment opportunities that provide good risk adjusted returns in different property sectors and investment modes.
“With RealVantage, our aim is to create access to real estate opportunities that fit the investors’ investment horizon and returns objectives. RealVantage allows investors to customise their own portfolio of properties according to their individual risk appetites. Our goal is to ultimately unlock a world of institutional real estate investing for individual investors.”
Ong has over 20 years in real estate fund management and has transacted in excess of US$3 billion across geographies and sectors.
Having spent the bulk of his career at ARA Asset Management, one of the largest Private Equity Real Estate firms in Asia Pacific, and in senior positions at boutique real estate fund investing for family offices, Ong is well-versed in investment and asset management, business development and capital raising activities.
Chief Technology Officer Foo has over 18 years of experience in technology, data science, and quantitative investments. He was previously the CTO of Funding Societies, one of the largest P2P crowdfunding lending platforms in the region.
Proficient in quantitative investments through data and statistics, Foo was at Barclays Global Investors (now BlackRock), and Ronin Capital in USA managing a quantitative equities portfolio. While in those roles, he researched, built trading models and developed automated algorithms, transacting over US$10 billion in global equities.
Foo said: “We believe that by co-investing in every asset that is put up, we have a tangible commitment to the investment, which will ensure alignment of interests between RealVantage and our investors.
“Our aim is to serve our investors better and disrupt the traditional way property investments have been made. We believe our expertise and connections within the technology and real estate fund management industry gives us an edge over our competitors.”
Understanding that a majority of investors are time-strapped, while others are not necessarily experts in real estate investments, RealVantage has well-qualified and experienced real estate asset managers to maximise investment returns by actively managing property investments.
The team brings with them a rich cross-border investment track record exceeding US$10 billion and has managed assets in excess of US$20 billion across different geographies.
The RealVantage team screens close to 600 deals per year, identifying opportunities that fit their investment criteria by employing their proprietary AI engine to complement their deal origination and evaluation processes.
The deals are subsequently vetted by its internal investment committee made up of industry veterans comprising Anthony Ang, CEO of Sasseur REIT and the former CEO of Fortune REIT, and Richard Tan, an independent real estate advisor and former CFO of Suntec REIT.
Approved deals are put together into an investment memorandum detailing investment strategy, financial analysis, investment period and deal terms. This is uploaded onto the platform and made available for investors. Due to the rigorous selection process, only a small percentage of deals are approved by the investment committee.
Providing institutional-quality deal underwriting that shows full transparency and disclosure, investors are kept fully apprised of their investments through regular updates on RealVantage’s digital platform, from co-investment until divestment.
RealVantage closed a funding round with angel investors last year. The company also has a presence in Indonesia, with 30% of their total number of investors coming from the country, with the other 70% of investors concentrated in Singapore.
In 2020, RealVantage plans to widen its investor base in Singapore and Indonesia. The platform is also looking to expand its investment opportunities beyond the United Kingdom and Australia markets.