MENA’s Only Regulated Real Estate Crowdfunding Investments Platform Launches25. November 2019
SmartCrowd Limited, a Dubai-based company and MENA’s first financially regulated real estate investments platform (REIP) has announced that the company has fulfilled all regulatory requirements and acquired a full license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent regulator of financial services based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Prior to its full license, SmartCrowd was operating under an “Innovation Testing License” as part of the DFSA’s regulatory sandbox program. The new license will permit SmartCrowd to open its platform to international investors and offer international real estate investments.
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.
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.
The company has successfully completed approximately AED 5 million in transactions with individual investments ranging from AED 5,000 to AED125,000 ($1,400 – $34,000). The company has also paid out multiple dividends with annual net returns ranging from 6.5% to 8%.
Siddiq Farid, Co-founder and CEO of SmartCrowd said:
“Obtaining the DFSA license is a testament of our hard work and commitment to this market. We are excited about the new opportunities this license offers and are ready to expand our footprint. From day one, our strategy was to make real estate investments accessible and hassle-free – and we’re doing just that. During the past two years, 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.”