When we launched RET Ventures four years ago, our pitch would often be met with some skepticism. Real estate technology was neither well defined nor well understood as a category, and while we had strong leadership, a compelling investment thesis, and major REITs as fund anchors, our hybrid-strategic model was still unproven.
What a difference four years make. The majority of our portfolio companies are now creating tangible value for the operations of our Strategic Investors and the broader industry. We’ve successfully exited several of our investments, and our first fund has delivered well beyond expectations, both in terms of operational benefits to the industry and financial returns to our investors.
With Fund II, our already substantial strategic investor base has more than doubled to 40+ institutional real estate owners and operators; as a group, these investors own or manage 2.4 million rental units (among the largest groups ever assembled). We initially targeted $130 million for Fund II, but received enough interest from strategic investors that the fund was far oversubscribed, a testament to the reputation RET has already garnered among major real estate organizations. Ultimately, we closed the fund with $165 million of commitments.
As we begin to deploy Fund II, we want to thank all our stakeholders —new and returning investors, portfolio companies, and friends of RET— for their support. With residential real estate undergoing fast and far-reaching changes, technology will play an ever more pivotal role in helping the industry adapt, and we are thankful to all of you for helping us drive this innovation.