Press Release: 6 April 2016

Taronga Ventures Bolsters Investment Team

Steven Maarbani – former PwC Partner, Venture Capital & Private Equity – has joined Taronga Ventures – the venture capital arm of the Taronga Group – to lead the recently launched Real Tech Ventures I Fund. Steven will be joined by former Macquarie and Brookfield investment banker and entrepreneur Pathum Dissanayake, as Taronga Ventures grows its funds management operation.  

Steven has been with PwC for more than nine years and is well known to the market in the areas of innovation, emerging technologies and venture capital. During his tenure at PwC, Steven has advised on the establishment of a significant number of Australia’s leading venture capital funds including the NAB Ventures Fund, Australia Post Ventures Fund, BlueChilli Venture Fund, Tank Stream Venture Fund, Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund, and the Artesian Fund of Funds, and is widely recognised as a leader in early stage venture capital funds. 

Steven has also led PwC’s thought leadership on venture capital and alternative finance (including crowdfunding) at the firm’s flagship annual venture capital event, The Future of Venture Capital, over many years together with key sector leaders, including NAB Ventures’ MD Todd Forrest, Westpac’s Reinventure Fund, OurCrowd’s Jon Medved, and Artesian Venture Partners. 

Steven’s leadership will be complemented by Pathum Dissanayake in his role as investment director. Pathum is based in San Francisco, and is responsible for leading Taronga’s deal sourcing, due diligence, and investment protocols. He has over ten years of investment experience, having started his career at Macquarie Capital Advisers, before founding a number of companies and working with technology companies such as Google. He has spent the last few years within the epicentres of venture capital and technology, working in both New York and San Francisco.

According to Taronga Group Co-Founder and Managing Director Avi Naidu, “The appointment of the investment team will further drive the Fund’s ability to establish itself as a thought leader and focal point for real estate technology innovation and investment. The team’s experience, and depth of knowledge of early stage venture capital will be a great addition to the Taronga Ventures.”

Taronga Venture’s Real Tech Ventures Fund I will target A$50m primarily from institutional and corporate investors and invest that capital into innovation that impacts real estate across its entire lifecycle.

The Fund will invest into globally scalable entities that will enhance or challenge the way real estate, across all sectors, is procured, secured, developed and managed. It will look to develop a diverse portfolio of investments that will include sustainability, energy, design, materials and software and provide capital, mentorship and global networks for those companies in which it invests as well as first mover advantage for the corporates that participate in the Fund.

From a fundraising perspective Taronga Group Co-Founder and Managing Director, Jonathan Hannam, commented that “there has been tremendous interest from institutional and corporates investors who are grappling with an ever changing real estate landscape.”

“We are at a tipping point as real estate – the world’s largest industry – pivots as traditional real estate models become disrupted.  Corporates need to innovate to survive and owners of property need to adapt in order to maintain their returns.”

The Fund benefits from favorable legislation in Australia that is looking to encourage investment into innovation. The Fund is structured as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership which provides investors exemptions from Australian income and capital gain.

For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Hannam | Managing Director
Taronga Group 

P: +61 2 9199 8851
M: +61 435 688 880
Head Office: Level 24, 52 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

About Taronga Group
Taronga Group is an investment house specialising in technology, real estate and sporting & entertainment investment for global institutional and high net worth investors. Taronga strives to provide innovative and creative solutions that deliver lasting value for our investors, our investments and the communities in which we invest. Taronga has extensive experience across global markets and asset classes and is supported by strategic and institutional partners across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. 

Abut Taronga Ventures
Taronga Ventures is a technology investor focused on sustainable innovation for the built environment. Through its deep global real estate and technology network Taronga Ventures is well placed to identify and invest in world leading technologies that enhance the built environment, whilst simultaneously providing investee companies strategic global access to distribution and capital.

About Real Tech Ventures I Fund
Launched in March 2016 Real Tech Ventures I Fund is a registered Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership. The Fund is seeking to raise A$50M to invest into real estate related technology.