INKEF Capital, a venture capital fund initially backed by two pension funds, has invested in data analytics firm GeoPhy, part of a strategic partnership with Dutch pension fund manager APG Asset Management.
INKEF Capital was launched in 2010 as a joint venture by the €359 billion ($406 billion) Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, Netherlands; and the C$77 billion ($59.5 billion) Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Toronto. INKEF, or Investing in the Knowledge Economy of the Future, aims to finance and support “spectacular technology ventures,” with a €200 million, 15-year investment program. INKEF Capital's investment in GeoPhy is in the millions of pounds sterling, but a spokesman for GeoPhy said the exact investment was not disclosed.
GeoPhy's database uses sources from around the world to generate a quality score, carbon footprint and valuation for buildings around the world. The database currently covers 3 million buildings across 51 countries. The data are used by investors to assess risks and opportunities.
“The investment by INKEF was tailored towards what we need for an accelerated global expansion,” said Teun van den Dries, founder and CEO of GeoPhy, in an e-mail. “We've been revenue-backed since our launch about two years ago and would have been happy to grow organically, but this opportunity was too good to pass up. They will offer expertise and experience in building out a global organization alongside an investment of several million to make this happen.”
The investment is part of a strategic partnership with ABP's money manager, APG, which manages about €37 billion in real estate assets on behalf of ABP. The strategic partnership with GeoPhy will provide portfolio managers with more detailed oversight and insight across the portfolio.
“As a result of technological advancements and increased data availability, we believe the GeoPhy platform can help us achieve better insights to form a more detailed understanding of our real estate investments,” said Patrick Kanters,managing director and head of global real estate and infrastructure at APG, in a separate e-mail.
Mr. Kanters said that as part of its clients' responsible investment policies APG has already been measuring the sustainability performance of its real estate portfolio through the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark initiative — an industry-driven organization that assesses the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios, and was co-founded by APG. “With the conclusion of our strategic partnership with GeoPhy we will also explore if valuable property level insights can be delivered in this respect,” he said.
OMERS is no longer active with INKEF.