After recently exiting a Dubai Marina property investment, SmartCrowd, the MENA region’s first and largest real estate crowdfunding platform, delivered its investors a 39.25 percent total net return (rental income + capital gains) over a 17-month period, and a 27.92 percent annualized return.
The studio apartment in Marina Bay Central, Dubai Marina, was purchased by 53 investors on the SmartCrowd platform in February 2021 for AED 530,000 and sold for AED 780,000 in July 2022, representing a 47 percent gross capital appreciation. The property had generated a net annualized yield of 10.04 percent for its investors, compared to the market average of 6.20 percent for Dubai Marina.
SmartCrowd, an Abu Dhabi-based Hub71 fintech firm registered with the DIFC and regulated by the DFSA, offers a simpler, smarter way to access prime Dubai real estate, allowing everyday investors to easily diversify their portfolios.
SmartCrowd CEO and Co-Founder, Siddiq Farid, says: “The real estate industry remains a tangible and stable asset class in the UAE, and as such, SmartCrowd strives to educate and empower people to invest in real estate to diversify their portfolios, starting from AED500. Our mission is to provide every investor with equal access to alternative asset investment opportunities.
Since its inception, the market-altering platform has crowdfunded over 75 properties worth over AED 55 million. The company has distributed more than AED 3.2 million in rental income and has built a strong investor base that is rapidly expanding.
“I’m extremely excited to receive the cash in my bank account from the first exit with the SmartCrowd platform,” says SmartCrowd investor Bruno Massera. In less than 18 months, I was able to achieve a total return of more than 39 percent, demonstrating that the business model can truly provide value to investors.
With global financial markets in shambles and almost all investment classes down significantly by 2022, it is prudent for investors to diversify across alternative asset classes that are less correlated with stocks, such as real estate, as well as top-performing commodities such as gold and oil.
Dubai’s real estate market remains on a positive growth trajectory, with recent figures indicating that price growth in Dubai’s mainstream market will be between 5% and 7% this year, and between 12% and 15% for prime properties.
SmartCrowd is the first regulated real estate investment platform in the MENA region and a pioneer in bringing alternative investments to the mass market. SmartCrowd is excited to carry on that mission and expand the offering even further by providing everyone with the opportunity to build well-diversified portfolios that go beyond stocks, bonds, and cryptos. Its mission is to reduce global income inequality by making solid rental property investment available to everyone.
The company was founded in the UAE in 2018 and quickly became the recipient of the Accenture Innovation Award. The DFSA granted the company a sandbox license in 2018, and it was one of the first to graduate to a fully licensed and regulated platform in November 2019. SmartCrowd is also a Hub 71-sponsored start-up and was among the first batch of 11 start-ups chosen to establish an Abu Dhabi tech ecosystem. They have been a part of the program for the past two years and are one of the fastest-growing tech hub’s longest-serving start-ups.