Stock Aldar
Aldar is venturing into a different sort of space - property technology. This will be done through the Fifth Wall alliance. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties has entered an alliance with Fifth Wall - the world's biggest venture capital firm focussed on real estate technology - through a fund operated by the latter. This makes Aldar the first 'limited partner' from the region to invest in Fifth Wall’s European Real Estate Technology Fund.

Through this investment, Aldar aims to tap into Fifth Wall’s network of proptech startups in Europe and gain access to latest technologies and trends in the sector. "We believe the new partnership will help Aldar to further drive digital transformation, enhance customer experience, and embed more sustainable practices,” said Maan Al Awlaqi, Aldar’s Executive Director of Strategy and Transformation.

Digital strengths
The partnership with Fifth Wall adds to Aldar’s existing portfolio of investments focused on promoting innovation and tech in real estate and retail sectors.

The developer had set up an Innovation Office that provides access for startups to Aldar’s trials and adoptions. This includes the Aldar Scale Up programme, which focuses on enabling the development of the proptech sector in the UAE.

There is also the 'Manassah' programme, which is Aldar’s entrepreneurship incubator aimed at nurturing retail-tech startups and entrepreneurial talent in the Gulf.

Aldar’s 'Ibtikar' challenge invites employees to submit ideas and concepts that can solve business challenges and enhance customer experience. Since its launch in 2018, Ibtikar has seen over 300 submissions, of which more than 17 were taken to proof-of-concept stage.

“Our investment in Fifth Wall marks the next phase of our innovation journey and will allow us to keep pace with the advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

A whopping $185 billion is expected to be invested in proptech ventures globally before 2025. Since inception in 2016, Fifth Wall has built $2.5 billion in commitments and capital under management.