SmartCrowd Limited, an award-winning Dubai-based company and MENA’s first financially regulated real estate investments platform (REIP) is disrupting the real estate investment world by making it affordable and transparent for all. The company is regulated by Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent regulator of financial services based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Founded in 2017, by Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed, SmartCrowd uses a crowdfunding model to democratize real estate for the average investor through “fractional ownership” of properties. SmartCrowd’s innovative digital platform allows individuals and families to invest in residential properties for as low as AED 5,000 (US $1400) without any debt or obligations, thereby reducing barriers to an investable asset class that is out of reach for many.
Buying, owning, managing, and selling an investment property is a lot of work. Especially when what you’re really after is to earn the net rental income and the upside potential of owning property. SmartCrowd aims to change that by allowing you to benefit from property ownership without the hassle of managing it.
The process is simple. An interested investor needs to register with SmartCrowd, select a pre-vetted investment property, and invest a fraction of the property’s value. After the investment is made, the investor starts earning rental income in the form of dividends proportionate to his/her investment. SmartCrowd takes the hassle out of real estate investing making easier, faster and more transparent than current alternatives.
The digital platform qualifies investment opportunities and presents all relevant market data allowing individuals to make informed investment decision. The data is further support by independent valuation. The platform aims to make real estate more accessible to all and remove the hassle by providing all the information in one place, enable digital transaction from the convenience of your device and remove stress of managing the property. The full turnkey real estate investment solution is a game changer for people looking to park capital in real estate. With their platform you can invest in multiple properties diversifying your exposure rather investing in a single unit.
The company has successfully completed approximately AED 11 million in transactions with individual investments ranging from AED 5,000 to AED125,000 ($1,400 – $34,000). The company has also already paid out over AED 500,000 in dividends to its investors with annual net returns ranging from 6% to 9%.
“From day one, our strategy was to make real estate investments accessible and hassle-free – and we’re doing just that. During the past year, both new and experienced investors have been drawn to our platform because of its ability to diversify their investments and reduce their exposure to risk.”
“This achievement is a testament to the effectiveness of the ecosystem we have in place to enable innovative financial services to grow from the UAE and scale globally.”
Commenting on the announcement, Sharif El-Badawi, Managing Partner at 500 Startups, MENA said:
“SmartCrowd’s niche product, the team, and their capabilities has demonstrated that it is poised to engage with a wider clientele-base and offer a more diverse international portfolio. At 500 Startups, our mission is to back such startups and help them scale their business. As one of the early investors, we look forward to SmartCrowd leading the way in fractional real estate investments in the region and beyond.”
Since its inception, SmartCrowd has received numerous awards for its innovative solution and been accepted to notable incubator and accelerator programs. Some of these accolades include winning Accenture’s Innovation Award at GITEX 2017, which helped the team secure a spot in the DIFC FinTech Hive’s inaugural batch; winning the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival competition resulting in a place at Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa’s) incubator program; winning the UAE Seedstar contest; participant of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) accelerator program, winning FinTech of the Year by Arabian Business and most recently, being accepted in the HUB 71 ecosystem.
“We are tremendously proud of and excited for SmartCrowd’s achievements. We anticipated a long and arduous journey of adapting to the regulatory framework in the region for SmartCrowd but always had strong confidence in Siddiq and his A+ team. Today, SmartCrowd is the first and only financially regulated real estate digital investment platform in the MENA region and gives the general population access to an otherwise exclusive asset class – real estate. We are humbled to have been a part of this journey and will continue to support Smart Crowd with full strength. We challenge SmartCrowd to open up the properties in the Middle East to foreign investors who have recently developed keen interest in the real estate market here but just couldn’t find a transparent, reliable platform to do so.”
SmartCrowd is a digital real estate investment platform which provides the opportunity to buy and sell shares in properties, reducing barriers to entry to low-middle income households to build financial assets and generate investment income. SmartCrowd caters to most people who find it hard to get on the property ladder to build a diversified portfolio and “unlock their wealth potential”.
In April 2018 SmartCrowd became the first and only financially-regulated digital investment platform in MENA. SmartCrowd Holdings Ltd. (SmartCrowd) is regulated by the DFSA. We provide users with active share management, transparency in their property investment, low investment cost and very low minimum investment levels.
SmartCrowd was part of the region’s only fintech accelerator, DIFC’s Fintech Hive, and has won numerous awards including Accenture Innovation Award at GITEX 2017, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival Pitch competition, and Smart Dubai’s Global Blockchain challenge. Recently, SmartCrowd joined the HUB 71 ecosystem sponsored by Mubadala .