InfraRed NF invests US$28m in leading Chinese self-storage operator

InfraRed NF, the leading Asian real estate investment manager, is pleased to announce a US$28m investment in China Mini Storage Limited (“CMS”), an intelligent technology-led, leading self-storage operator in China. The investment will comprise both Series A funding and property investments and is part of InfraRed NF China Real Estate Fund II.

CMS will use the funds to expand operations across further sites, upgrade IT systems, increase marketing and enhance the already strong team. InfraRed NF’s real estate experience and investment will also position CMS well for further expansion in other high-growth Tier 1 cities in China, where there are opportunities to add value to under-utilised properties.

Operating under the “CBD Self Storage” brand, CMS has developed Asia’s first proprietary tech-enhanced self-storage software system that allows customers to digitally access, turnkey and manage their storage units online. CMS integrates the concept of “Internet Plus” via WeChat into its services and utilises a capital-light, unmanned form of storage operations, which greatly enhances convenience for end-users and optimises costs for the business.

CMS offers customers best-in-class safety and security, through a real-time tracking system managed by smart device technology. This technology allows the seamless monitoring of customer usage and tracking of facility conditions. The technology is also able to cross-check customer information upon sign-up as it is connected to online police databases, providing immediate identity verification.

The first CMS storage facility was opened in Beijing in August 2014 and the company has since grown to 12 self-storage facilities and 20 locker sites across prime centrally located areas in Beijing and Shanghai. The CMS team has grown to over 30 employees, bringing complementary local and international expertise in technology, property and operations. Alan Tso, founder of CMS, has significant real estate experience with HSBC Investment Bank, Merrill Lynch and Everbright Ashmore China Real Estate Fund.

Hans Kang, Chief Investment Officer at InfraRed NF, said: “CMS is a unique business with a strong track record driving change in the industry. We see great potential for the business which presents an exciting opportunity to invest in this high-growth sector. We look forward to working with Alan and the CMS team with the next stage of their development, as they continue to disrupt and drive change the self-storage industry.”

Alan Tso, founder of CMS, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with InfraRed NF, a leading investor in Chinese real estate, who will bring a wealth of experience and value-add opportunities to CMS. The self-storage market presents an exciting opportunity for us to continue our growth and this investment will help us expand our operations and improve our capabilities.”

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