Simon Property Group, Inc., one of the largest owners of retail real estate in the world, has launched a new, dedicated investment vehicle called Simon Venture Group. Instead of real estate, this new business will invest in early-stage to high-growth technology companies focusing on retail innovation, focusing on opportunities that enhance the shopping experience.
Simon Venture Group plans to make direct or indirect Seed to Series C+ investments in various companies.
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"We believe we have only scratched the surface on applying technology to the retail environment in innovative, interesting ways," said Mikael Thygesen, chief marketing officer of Simon Property Group.
The new Simon Venture Group will be led by J. Skyler Fernandes, who will be responsible for identifying, evaluating, and making investments.
Fernandes was previously a partner at Centripetal Capital Partners, a multi-stage venture capital fund, where he concentrated on consumer Internet, retail, and high-tech with commercial applications. He is also the founder of One Match Ventures, a seed fund focused on consumer Internet and high-tech companies.
Fernandes gave the first TED Talk on Venture Capital, entitled "Innovating the Financing of Innovation," and leads a number of global initiatives, including the Missing Middle Initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which is focused on creating funds that invest $100,000 to $3 million.
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