As the real estate industry is ripe for disruption, Aurum Investments recently made its first move by raising USD 1.5 Million seed funding for tech-powered co-living startup, Hmlet
SINGAPORE, Dec. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Michelle Yong might be better known in the startup community as the co-founder of innovation-focused co-working space, Collision8.
But wearing her other hat as fourth-generation leader of Aurum, subsidiary of construction conglomerate Woh Hup, Michelle has made yet another bold move by pivoting the family business' investment arm, Aurum Investments, to focus on leading and following on seed round investments focused on proptech startups. Besides the criteria of being related to the real estate industry, Aurum Investments is seeking out startups that are tech-focused, human-centric, and highly scalable towards local and regional real estate opportunities.
This comes at a time where PropTech start-ups in Asia Pacific received $4.8billion in funding since 2013 -- more than 60 percent of global PropTech investment, outpacing Europe and the United States [JLL].
"As property developers ourselves, we've observed the increasing need to integrate technology into day-to-day spaces to increase productivity and efficiency of brokerage and leasing transactions, to allow owners to focus on face-to-face interactions," shares Michelle. "We are also in talks with two other startups that relate to the project development vertical of proptech."
Her futuristic stance has led Aurum Investments to lead the first round of USD 1.5 Million seed funding in Hmlet, Singapore's first tech-powered co-living service provider.
"We're focused on the future of people, so funding is just one part of the equation. Our trusted network of communities -- across co-working, residential developments, co-living, health and wellness -- will play a large role in creating pathways for these startups to succeed as profitable and sustainable businesses," explains Michelle.
Besides seed funding, Michelle is also keen for Aurum Investments to play angel investor and incubator roles in developing the PropTech scene in Singapore, with a target of investing in 2-3 such businesses a year.
Other benefits include being fully supported by Aurum's other businesses, such as membership and facilities at innovation-focused co-working space, Collision8, which recently doubled its downtown space to accommodate its growing community. Aurum's dedication to the success of its affiliated businesses was one of the factors leading Hmlet's co-founders to accept the offer from Aurum Investments to lead their seed funding round.
Yoan Kamalski, CEO and co-founder of Hmlet shares, "Out of the firms that we were negotiating with, we felt that the Aurum team showed us how they would add the most value to our business, beyond the injection of capital -- and we're already reaping the benefits."
About Aurum Investments:
Aurum Investments is a Singapore-based multi-million dollar corporate venture capital fund, a subsidiary of Woh Hup Holdings Pte Ltd. As part of the Aurum group of companies, which also owns co-working space operator Collision 8, Aurum Investments is focused on creating value and golden opportunities within various verticals in the real estate industry. With an aim to identify and invest in 2-3 human-centric proptech startups every year, Aurum Investments hopes to empower change and facilitate growth for businesses, professionals, individuals and its investments across the region.