One trend we are seeing among crowdfunding platforms is that they are becoming more specific in the niches they are serving. As a result, rather than one-size-fits-all platforms like Kickstarter, there has been a rise of new crowdfunding sites focused on smaller user groups. Examples are regional crowdfunding platforms and those targeted to an industry niche like motorsports or the arts.
A similar trend is also taking place among equity crowdfunding platforms which are seeing value in connecting companies with investors from mutual backgrounds. The prime example is CircleUp, which provides crowdfunding to the retail consumer market and includes investors and partners with experience in the industry. Also taking place are the establishment of platforms being used to crowdfund ownership of larger assets such as real estate projects.
Following on this trend and demand for real estate crowdfunding platforms, UK-based Property Partner is going live after having secured £1.25M in seed funding in a recent round led by Octopus Investments. Allowing users to invest as little as £50 in UK housing projects, Property Partner is among a growing list of crowdfunding platforms authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Similar to equity-based crowdfunding platforms, Property Partner allows users to participate in acquiring small stakes in real estate deals as well as profiting from future price appreciation and rental income. A unique feature of the platform is the existence of an exchange mechanism which provides the ability for investors to list their share of ownership for sale.
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With the current seed investment, Property Planner has raised a total of £1.4M in funding and its investors include Seedcamp, Betfaor Co-founder, Ed Wray, Better Capital founder and venture capitalist, Jon Moulton and Daniel Quai, Crescendo Real Estate Co-founder.