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Big push to scale up real estate technology announced

24 June 2019 Tim Neary

Real estate innovation and venture capital firm Taronga Ventures has announced the launch of the RealTechX Growth Program, an innovation platform to drive growth in emerging real estate technology business in Australia and across Asia.

Taronga Ventures said that in its first year, the scale-up program will bring together 10 market-ready technology business participants and 20 industry corporate program partners.

It said the first cycle of the program will run from October 2019 to March 2020.

“The program is supported by a $440,000 Australian government grant, through the Incubator Support initiative funding as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, as well as Taronga Ventures’ direct investment,” it said.

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“RealTechX is also partnering with a diverse group of innovative real estate corporates as well as delivery partners including KPMG High Growth Ventures, UNSW and CSIRO’s ON program.”

In announcing the grant awards, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the successful grant applicants demonstrated the sort of initiative and imagination that was essential to growing Australia’s economy.

“The government provides this support because we recognise the critical role incubators and start-ups play across the economy in creating new high-value jobs,” Minister Andrews said.

“The $23 million Incubator Support initiative connects entrepreneurs with top-quality research, business advice and talent, which will help them realise their economic potential earlier.”

Managing partner at Taronga Ventures Jonathan Hannam said RealTechX has been designed to meet the specific needs of market-ready technology businesses, providing access to corporate customers, investment of strategic capital and expert advice on growth strategy.

“Further, RealTechX will support participants to expand into Asia through a linkages program to China and Hong Kong, including attending the MIPIM PropTech Asia conference,” Mr Hannam said.

Next phase

He also said the program will highlight the need for Australia’s $182 billion real estate sector to prepare for the next phase of industry evolution.

“In 2018, the global property technology market received $US20 billion of venture capital investment and, since 2013, 60 per cent of all property technology investment has been directed into the Asia-Pacific region.

“Our aim with RealTechX is to fast-track realtech businesses to grow domestically and to help them to expand into new markets across Asia with strong local operating partners.”

Mr Hannam said RealTechX will facilitate connections with a network of leading real estate corporates, as well as engaging with partners from government, tertiary institutions and affiliated sectors.

“This level of market access is difficult for founders to achieve without warm introductions from existing relationships, especially in the real estate industry.”

RealTechX program manager Julian Kezelman said the program was reflective of the growing interest in innovation targeted at shaping the future of the built environment.

“In recent years, we have seen entrepreneurial activity in finance, healthcare and agriculture boosted by programs supporting fintech, medtech and agtech start-ups — until now, the real estate sector has been left largely unsupported.

“We are excited by the opportunities that the RealTechX Growth Program will bring to promising real estate technology businesses. RealTechX has been deliberately designed to meet the needs of later-stage companies — offering the deep industry expertise and market access these companies need to be successful.”

Big push to scale up real estate technology announced
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