The Public Sector Pension Investment Board is among the investors in a new fund by Greensoil PropTech Ventures, a Toronto-based property-technology company.
The fund, which sits at approximately US$50 million out of a US$100 million target, will invest in technologies to make the real estate industry more profitable and sustainable, according to a press release. Other investors include Starlight Investments, a North American multi-family and Canadian commercial real estate company.
“The initial closing of [the fund] comes at a time of significant opportunity and adversity for the real-estate industry and the global economy and the need for innovation has never been greater,” said Kristopher Wojtecki, managing director of real estate investments at the PSP, in the release. “[The] PSP’s partnership with Greensoil and anchor investment in [the fund] reflects our confidence in their [property technology] leadership and investment track record.”
In a separate transaction, the PSP is also making a strategic investment in Promise Robotics, a Canada-based platform for the robotic manufacturing of houses and building components. The investment is being made in partnership with venture capital firm Radical Ventures, according to a press release, which noted the company plans to build a team to develop core robotics technologies and automation processes over the next year.
“[The PSP] is committed to investing in the future – in innovation,” said Wojtecki in the release. “What better way to support this commitment than to invest in a Canadian company that aims to break barriers, create jobs and contribute directly to addressing housing affordability challenges of major cities such as Toronto.”
In other investment news, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is investing US$75 million in the second growth fund of Inovia Capital, a Canada-based venture capital firm.
The US$450-million fund will invest in tech-focused, growth-stage companies in industries such as financial services, health care, commerce and travel, according to a press release, which noted that Inovia’s first growth fund invested in companies such as AlayaCare, AppDirect Inc., GoForward Inc., Hopper, Lightspeed, Sonder Corp., Snapcommerce, Symend and WorkJam.
“[The Caisse] is pleased to further its long-standing commitment to this key manager, which will help promote the growth of strong and competitive technology companies,” said Kim Thomassin, executive vice-president and head of investments in Québec and stewardship investing at the Caisse, in the release. “Investing in Inovia also represents an interesting source of co-investment opportunities for [the Caisse], as was the case with AlayaCare, AppDirect, Hopper and Lightspeed.”
And the Alberta Investment Management Corp. will continue to hold a minority-ownership stake in Davies Group Ltd., a U.K.-based insurance service company, following a majority-ownership acquisition in the business by BC Partners Holdings Ltd. HGGC, a U.S.-based private equity firm, will also continue to hold a minority-ownership stake in the business, as will the Davies leadership team and employees, according to a press release.
“It’s been great to partner with Dan and the team at Davies since 2019, during which time they have tripled the size of the business, added legal solutions to the platform and launched claims solutions in the U.S.,” said James Ridout, director of the AIMCo, in the release. “As long-term investors, on behalf of our clients, [the] AIMCo is thrilled to be continuing to back the team and we look forward to supporting the next phase of growth and digital transformation.”