Abu Dhabi-based property development company Aldar properties has plans to invest in the US-based Fifth Wall’s European Real Estate Technology Fund to gain access to the venture capital firm’s network of so-called proptech businesses.
Aldar stated that the investment in the US firm is aimed at gaining access to the new technologies and trends driving the evolution of the real estate sector.
Aldar is the biggest listed developer in the UAE, with a market capitalization of over $7.5 billion. The business was recently revamped, and a new operating model was implemented with a parent company overseeing its core development and investment businesses.
“Our investment in Fifth Wall marks the next phase of our innovation journey and will allow us to keep pace with the advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The fund provides us with access to global knowledge and solutions that will complement our investments in regional start-ups and established in-house innovation programs.”
Fifth Wall is a proptech focused venture capital firm established in 2016. It currently manages around $1.7 billion in commitments and capital. The European Fund, which has a goal size of $102.5 million, has already received commitments from other backers.
The fund’s first Middle East investor is Aldar Properties, but other investors include consultancy Knight Frank, BNP Paribas, and Redevco, a property fund manager.
Aldar’s collaboration with Fifth Wall is expected to add to the company’s current portfolio of investments and programs aimed at fostering innovation and technology in the real estate and retail sectors.
The company has set up an innovation office to enable start-ups and innovators to gain access to its operations. It also oversees a Scale-Up program aimed at developing the UAE proptech sector, as well as the Manassah program, Aldar’s entrepreneurship incubator aimed at cultivating retail technology start-ups and entrepreneurial talent in the Gulf.
“We believe that the new partnership will help Aldar to further drive digital transformation, enhance customer experience, and embed more sustainable practices,” Mr. Al Awlaqi, added.