Crystal Investment and SOCAM To Boost Proptech

The two Hong Kong firms have joined hands to launch a new venture capital platform backing proptech start-ups
Staff Reporter | Hong Kong | Proptech

The global market for technology serving the real estate market, or proptech, is estimated to grow from US$18.2 billion in 2022 to US$86.6 billion in 2032, according to a recent study. A pair of Hong Kong companies is taking advantage of this boom with the launch of a new venture capital platform backing proptech start-ups.

Crystal Investment (member of the Crystal Group) and SOCAM Development (an HKEX-listed division of the Shui On Group), have joined forces to establish BetaBox Ventures, to provide funding and industry networking support to start-ups across the spectrum, including proptech, contech, smart building, decarbonisation, construction site safety, and smart monitoring. The platform will initially focus on companies operating in Asia, and those which plan to enter the Asian market.

“BetaBox Ventures aims to support innovative entrepreneurs in developing solutions with the potential to revolutionise the property sector,” said Crystal Investment CEO Nick Lo. “We believe in the transformative power of proptech and our goal is to help promising start-ups in this field to achieve their full potential. We look forward to collaborating with entrepreneurs who share our passion for innovation and shaping the future of the real estate industry.”

While proptech is on the rise globally, venture backing for start-ups in Asia Pacific still falls short of the funding committed to the sector in Europe and the US, and the BetaBox team aims to close that gap. Formed by professionals with backgrounds in tech, real estate and investment, BetaBox goes beyond making strategic investments in start-ups by providing promising companies with opportunities to expand their market reach by facilitating access to markets and potential customers in Hong Kong and other Asian countries.

Nick Lo, who led Crystal Investment for nearly three decades after studying engineering at the University of Toronto, has co-founded tech start-ups in Mainland China and is a key member of the leadership team helping foster tech innovation at BetaBox.

Said Winnie Leung, Partner at BetaBox and Founding General Partner at VC firm Transcend Capital Partners, which serves as an advisor to BetaBox, “BetaBox Ventures is actively seeking out innovative start-ups that have the potential to revolutionise the way we live and work. By prioritising ESG and responsible investment, BetaBox aims to not only generate financial returns but also to contribute to a sustainable future.”

Vivian Chan, Founding President of the Hong Kong PropTech Association (HKPTA), is invited to join the VC firm’s investment committee and contribute towards selecting promising ventures. “I have made it my mission to bridge the gap between proptech companies from around the world and investors in Hong Kong,” Chan said. “As part of my role at HKPTA, I organise regular exchanges between tech entrepreneurs and investors, providing opportunities for funding and market expansion in Asia. By facilitating these connections, we aim to support the growth and success of start-ups in the proptech industry. Creating a proptech ecosystem can usher in transformative changes to Hong Kong’s real estate industry while promoting sustainable development in Asia,” she concluded.

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