SmartCrowd get US$3M bridge funding for expansion into Saudi Arabia
SmartCrowd, Dubai-based real estate crowdfunding platform, has closed a bridge round in excess of USD $3 million to fuel its expansion in new markets including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The funding will enable the rapidly growing company to scale its operations, and products.
The company confirmed that it has grown its investor base nearly six times since the pandemic. Assets under management have grown more than 60 percent quarter-on-quarter, while the number of investors has doubled in the last quarter.
Saudi-based Mad’a Investment Company is the lead investor of the bridge round. TriCap Investment, a diversified investments group based in Dubai, also made a follow-up investment in SmartCrowd and was joined by Amaana Capital, the venture capital arm of US-based NRD Capital., along with other prominent angel investors in the region.
According to Abdullah A. Al Othaim, CEO of Mad’a Investment, SmartCrowd will open up new investment channels for individuals looking for relatively safe methods for passive income. The investors also felt that Smart Crowd’s user-friendly technology platform has made real estate investment accessible hassle-free for to all and they hope to make Smart Crowd not just a preferred way of investing in real estate but a preferred way of owning real estate.
SmartCrowd CEO and Co-Founder, Siddiq Farid, says: “The rapid growth we are experiencing is down to our innovative approach to property ownership, a market ripe for investment, and the strong economic outlook the UAE is experiencing. Dubai’s real estate transactions are at an all-time high - and that is translating into our growth. Our latest bridge funding will help us rapidly scale to new heights and continue our mission on making alternative investment universally accessible to the masses.”
Individual investors in SmartCrowd take a ‘fractional’ share in a vetted rental property based on a 100-point proprietary screening tool, with investments on the crowdfunding platform starting at AED500. Investors then receive a share of rent, proportional to their investment. Once a property is funded, it is purchased via a special purpose vehicle (SPV) registered in the DIFC, ensuring a safe, secure investment opportunity.
SmartCrowd has now funded more than 70 properties and transacted over AED50 million. The company has paid out close to AED3 million in rental income to investors so far.
After 18 months of solid growth – despite the global economic woes induced by the pandemic – SmartCrowd now has more than 30,000 users on the platform, 80 percent of which are UAE-based. The remaining 20 percent come from as far as New Zealand and Australia.