Smart Crowd, the real estate crowd funding investment platform, closed a $600,000 seed funding round, having attracted financing from Shorooq Investments, Abaxx Technologies, 500 Start-ups and other individual investors.
The firm will use the funds to accelerate its growth and invest in its technology, according to co-founder Siddiq Farid.
Smart Crowd allows average investors to buy and sell share in properties with a minimum investment of AED5,000, reducing the barriers to entry to low-middle income households to build financial assets. It also provides users with active management of their shares.
While it currently operates under an Innovation Testing License (ITL) from Dubai’s Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which allows only UAE residents to invest in Dubai properties, it plans on pursuing a full license which will enable anyone to invest anywhere in the world.
Shane Shin, founding managing partner of Abu Dhabi-based Shorooq Investments said the platform has already “revolutionised how real estate investments are done in mature markets like the US and Europe, influencing millions of peoples' lives and their real estate savings.”
Mahmoud Adi, Shorooq’s founding partner, added that Smart Crowd solves two underlying pain points in a real estate investment: the requirement of significant cash sums and the long holding period and illiquid market.
“By enabling clients to invest in a property for as low as AED5,000, Smart Crowd is fulfilling people’s dreams of investing in homes and encouraging everyone to start saving now versus waiting to get a huge amount of capital which can take decades,” he said.
Smart Crowd had won the Accenture Innovation Award at GITEX 2017, securing a place in the inaugural round of DIFC’s Fintech Hive. It then went on to win the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival competition, becoming part of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa's) incubator programme, as well as taking second place in the Smart Dubai Global Blockchain Challenge and eventually winning the Seedstar UAE contest.
The platform has already generated revenue and completed two property transactions, according to co-founder Abdul Kadir Faizal.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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