Helped by the UAE’s exemplary handling of the coronavirus pandemic, property transactions have soared in the Emirates with performance at pre-Covid-19 levels and exceeding 2020 in Q1 2021.
Despite the slowdown feared, the real estate market is buoyant with international investors contributing to record breaking property transactions.
Against this backdrop, Stake, a Dubai-based fintech and real estate investment platform which launched in December 2020 to disrupt the UAE’s real estate investment market, today announces that it has raised US$4 million in a seed funding round led by Combined Growth Real Estate, a company that is led by Amer Hammour, who is the Founder and Chairman of Madison Marquette, a US-based real estate investment management company with $6 billion of assets under management and a member of the Capital Guidance group. It also attracted participation from Vivium Capital, a Dubai based private family office in addition to Verve Ventures, Lama Holding from Riyadh, Mishaal Alireza a Saudi Arabian angel investor, and shareholders of the UK’s Chalgrove Properties Limited, who are the developers of the tallest residential tower in Western Europe, Landmark Pinnacle in London.
Stake will use the funds to scale and enhance the platform by introducing exciting new products and features, invest in sales and marketing, and to grow the current team of 15 to execute on the firm’s ambitious goals in technology innovation, property sourcing, product development and operational excellence.
Commenting on the successful funding round, co-founder Rami Tabbara said: “Our shareholders believe that in today’s world there is a much better way of investing in real estate. Through Stake, we will enable anyone to participate in this asset class in an easy, transparent, and digital way. This fundraise allows us to build the go to digital real estate investment platform for Dubai property and eventually the region. We are focused on bringing the best property investment deals to our clients.”
Manar Mahmassani, co-founder of Stake, added: “When we launched Stake, we made clear our goal to democratise real estate investment and remedy to ills of Dubai’s property market, which prevented the young from participating and delivered unattractive returns for experienced investors. Our shareholders believe in our vision for a world where real estate is a completely liquid and fully accessible investment asset class, available to everyone looking to preserve and grow their wealth. With this fund raise, we can accelerate our journey to radically improve the real estate investment market and bring this tangible asset into the new digital age.”
Amer Hammour Head of Combined Growth Real Estate and Founder/ Chairman of Madison Marquette commented: “The Dubai residential property investment market offers very attractive opportunities to investors for growth in value and strong current income, as the current high supply gets absorbed by the very strong demand. Stake allows investors to participate directly in this market and make diversified bets on properties through partial ownership deals. Mr. Tabbara and Mr. Mahmassani’s extensive and long background in Dubai property and financial investments, and the fantastic team they’ve put together, will ensure that investors will have access to the best underwritten and vetted opportunities, and the highest quality investment management of their assets. We believe that Stake will create the online engine that will allow investors access to different property types in Dubai, the UAE and beyond. It is poised to become the investment channel of the future. We are proud to participate in Stake’s development and to be a long-term strategic partner in the development of the company.”
Based in DIFC’s Fintech Hive and regulated by the DFSA, Stake allows users to browse pre-vetted selections of properties and invest from as little as AED 2,000 (US$545). The company is steadfast in its mission to create the go-to digital, borderless marketplace for discovering and investing in what the team refer to as “no-brainer” real estate assets due to Stake’s focus on prime locations where the rental demand is high and the long-term fundamentals will be a strong driver of capital appreciation.
The platform is a safe, secure and cost-efficient way for anyone to jump on the property ladder and start to build wealth through a diversified portfolio of quality assets, which currently consists of units in Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina and soon DIFC and City Walk. Onboarding takes only a few minutes and profits from rental income are distributed typically monthly, allowing retail investors to create a steady and reliable source of secondary, passive income. It offers a more practical alternative than buying property outright, as the experience is entirely online, transparent, and hassle-free.
Since launching, Stake has grown from strength to strength, attracting over 4,000 registered users from 54 different nationalities and achieving 30% month on month increase in sales. The company is also in discussions with strategic partners and regulators in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and has its sights set on expansion into the UK. Stake’s advisors include Daniel Miller, the Co-Founder of Fundrise, the first and largest real estate crowd-investing platform in the US, as well as Gaurav Shivpuri and Fadi Moussali, both veterans at JLL, the leading global real estate advisory firm.