Community News

  • 12 Jul 2018

Smart crowd completes first regulated crowdfunded real estate transaction in MENA

Smart Crowd, the first and only financial regulated digital investment platform in MENA has officially completed a property transaction in fintech. Earlier this month, Smart Crowd crowdfunded a small studio in Remraam offering investors an opportunity to earn an approximately 10.8% gross yield and 8.68% net yield. Over a 5-year term, the investors are projected to make 54.69% return on investment, translating into an annualized return of 9.74% assuming an annual capital appreciation of 3%. This major milestone establishes the innovation and validity of their platform.

Smart Crowd is a digital real estate investment platform that provides the opportunity to buy and sell shares in properties, reducing the barriers to entry to low-middle income households to build financial assets and generate investment income. Unlike current real estate investment vehicles, Smart Crowd provides users with active management of their shares, transparency on what properties they are actually investing in, low costs of investment and very low minimum investment levels (AED 5,000). This allows Smart Crowd to open up the market and cater to a wider segment of the population.

“Real estate has always had costly gatekeeper dynamics and has been restricted to wealthy individuals and institutions due to large minimum investment amounts,” says Siddiq Farid, Founder & CEO of Smart Crowd. “Real estate is the largest asset class in the world estimated at $217 trillion, yet only 12% of the world population has access to it. Smart Crowd caters to the remaining 88% of the world population that finds it hard to get on the property ladder to build a diversified portfolio and ‘unlock their wealth potential’. According to Financial Times London, it would take millennials 42 years to save for a studio apartment in London. We make it possible for people to get started right away without the need to take leverage or have concentrated risk by allocating all their capital into one asset. Our model allows people to build a diversified real estate portfolio with a small capital pool.”

Smart Crowd has been recognized for its innovative business model by being accepted in various programs such as Sheraa’s Incubator program and has won numerous awards. Smart Crowd has been working with regulators for the past year to prove the model and expect to be live to the public later this year. Registered in the DIFC, the company’s aim is to democratize real estate investment with low entry barriers to allow the masses to build financial assets and “unlock their wealth potential”.

“This is an exciting achievement for a platform such as Smart Crowd because it offers proof of concept for an innovative model. Smart Crowd’s high growth potential, and Siddiq’s passion, is exactly what led the startup to winning the 2017 Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival Pitch Competition, and after months of hard work in our Incubator program, to see their business begin to thrive is a proud moment. I have no doubt that this is the first of many achievements to come,” adds Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa.

About Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center)

Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center) was launched in January 2016 to provide a launch pad for aspiring and established entrepreneurs in the UAE. Sheraa’s state-of-the-art co-working facility is housed at the American University of Sharjah and hosts a thriving community of students and ambitious entrepreneurs. Sheraa – ‘Sail’ in Arabic – inspires youth to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and empowers them to navigate through the processes of launching a business, transforming them from job seekers to job creators in the United Arab Emirates and the wider region. It runs the country’s first university-based ‘accelerator’ program, offering a mentorship-driven, three-month entrepreneurship boot camp to support teams that demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit and courage. The hands-on accelerator also provides seed-funding, strategic mentorship by industry professionals and a suite of other competitive benefits and has successfully graduated 30 startups till date. Sheraa’s programs also include an Ideathon, which helps young entrepreneurs quickly validate their idea, and an Incubator, which helps startups refine their concepts and develop advanced prototypes.

About Smart Crowd

Smart Crowd is a digital real estate investment platform established in 2018. In April of this year Smart Crowd became the first and only financially regulated digital investment platform in MENA. Smart Crowd is established in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center) and regulated by DFSA (Dubai Financial Services Authority). Smart Crowd has been recognized for its innovative business model by being accepted in the Sheera’s Incubator program, region’s only Fintech Accelerator, DIFC’s Fintech Hive and has won numerous awards including, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival Pitch competition, Accenture Innovation Award at GITEX 2017, and most recently the Smart Dubai’s Global Blockchain challenge.

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