VinaCapital Ventures invests $4m in online real estate platform Rever

VinaCapital Ventures, the technology investment company of Vietnam-based asset management firm VinaCapital, has invested $4 million in digital real estate brokerage company Rever.

The financing is understood to be Rever’s Series B round, following a Series A round that saw participation of local investment holding firm STI Holding, and Le Hong Minh, founder and chairman-cum-CEO of Vietnamese unicorn VNG.

Founded in 2016, Rever offers price preference tools using real market data analytics. Its real-time transaction management service provides real estate agents with smart customer relationship management and property database.

Rever said it will add more tools and services to its platform, including loan brokerage, digital furniture fitting and smart-home solutions, to become a one-stop shop for all accommodation-related needs.

“This investment is consistent with our philosophy of targeting startups that are disrupting how industries operate,” said Khanh Tran, partner at VinaCapital Ventures. “VinaCapital is a long-time real estate investor and developer, so this investment is also very strategic for us. Rever has the potential to lead the transformation of the real estate business, from one that is still very much based on brick-and-mortar to one that is a key part of the digital economy.”

The investment was announced at the inaugural three-day event, Vietnam Venture Summit, wherein South Korean investor DTNI announced a $1.4 million funding in real estate portal Propzy.

Rever is VinaCapital Ventures’ fifth investment, after ride-hailing app FastGo, online logistic platform Logivan, e-gift startup Urbox and fintech startup Wee Digital.The technology investment arm was launched in 2018 with a corpus of $100 million.

Meanwhile, Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund has signed a strategic partnership with VinaCapital Ventures, Tran announced on Monday.

“With one of the strongest track records in both real estate and venture capital, VinaCapital is the ideal partner to help us take our company to its next stage of growth,” said Manh Phan, co-founder and CEO of Rever.

Vietnam’s property market continues to expand, both in new developments and secondary sales, buoyed by a growing middle class and a demand for affordable homes. It has also consistently been among the top two sectors for foreign direct investment.

VinaCapital has been investing in the local real estate market through VinaLand and Vietnam Opportunity Fund vehicles. While the latter is still active, VinaLand was fully divested in December 2018 and is winding up. Apart from the two funds, VinaCapital is investing in the hospitality sector through a platform joint venture with global investment firm Warburg Pincus.

On the digital front, prior to the two recent funding rounds, PropertyGuru acquired Batdongsan.com.vn in 2016, a deal that saw Cyberagent Ventures exit the Vietnamese company. In 2018, Homedy raised a second funding round from Genesia Ventures, Access Ventures, and Japan’s Mynavi Corporation.