Simon launches retail innovation initiative

IndianapolisSimon Property Group has launched a new dedicated Simon Venture Group, a business that will invest in retail innovation, with a focus on opportunities that enhance the shopping experience.

Mikael Thygesen, chief marketing officer of Simon Property Group said: "We believe we have only scratched the surface on applying technology to the retail environment in innovative, interesting ways."

Simon Venture Group will invest in early-stage technology companies as well as high-growth companies. The Group will make a full range of venture capital investments from Seed investments to get started through Series A and B investments to build the company to Series C+ investments to shift growth and stay on top of competition.

J. Skyler Fernandes will lead the Simon Venture Group. He will identify, evaluate and make investments. Fernandes comes to Simon from Centripetal Capital Partners, a multi-stage venture capital fund. As a partner, he concentrated on consumer Internet, retail and high-tech with commercial applications.

In addition, Fernandes founded One Match Ventures, a seed fund focused on consumer Internet and high-tech companies. Fernandes gave the first TED Talk (Technology, Entertainment, Design Talk) on Venture Capital, entitled "Innovating the Financing of Innovation," and he 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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