With the growth of the concept of shared economy, so-called crowdfunding has become popular around the world. The idea is quite simple: online platforms where "normal" people have the possibility to fund projects, contributing small amounts.
In Brazil, there are already several such initiatives, such as the Benfeitoria.com.br, a system of collective engagement for transformative projects, and the Catarse.me, the first national platform created to fund creative projects in a shared way. There you can find many different types of businesses to invest. But what if the investment was in a property?
It was exactly with the objective of providing access to the real estate market that Smartcrowd. Headquartered at Hive, a prestigious fintech accelerator in Dubai, the startup was created by two young friends. Considered one of the safest investment options available in the Middle East, the real estate market was restricted to a few due to high capital requirements. Even with the high salaries that the two friends had in the financial market, they saw no chance of buying a property on their own, either to live or to invest. Eureka!
Then, in 2017, the region's first regulated digital investment initiative was born, offering the opportunity to acquire a fraction of a property. Through the platform, a person can "buy" a property with investments from AED 5,000.00 (dirhams), about $ 5,600. Because it was a brand new activity in the country, its founders had to apply for a special operating license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the innovation testing license. Just imagine the complexity to manage the purchase and management of a property for a group of people.
Little by little, they go far: after two years struggling to regulate the activity, the company already has seven properties purchased through the system of crowdfunding, totaling four million dirhams ($ 4.5 million). Today they have over 90 direct investing clients and 1,125 registered users. The cool thing is that 65% of buyers have already invested in more than one property; looks like they liked it!
Would this idea work in Brazil? Watch the video and draw your conclusions, maybe it could be a great opportunity? With great success in Dubai, Smartcrowd has just graduated as a startup, has received an international license and is looking for new markets.
A big hug and see you next week.