New platform to introduce property crowdfunding to Sub-Saharan Africa

New platform to introduce property crowdfunding to Sub-Saharan Africa
Written by:
Michael Catchpole
22nd April 2015
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Sub-Saharan Africa property is about to be offered up as an investment opportunity for the first time on a crowdfunding platform. Realty Africa, founded by Patrick Chella, Erik van Eeten and Emil Bengtsson, requires that investors commit as little as $1,000 (£670) to gain a stake in a particular development.

The company is itself currently seeking funds in a crowdfunding campaign which is being conducted via Indiegogo. Through the campaign, Realty Africa is looking for a total of €171,000 (£123,000), which will be used to pay for legal fees incurred in seeking regulatory approvals in each of the Sub-Saharan countries it may potentially operate in.
Realty Africa wants to change the often negative perception towards investing in Africa. In order to assist in doing this the company has entered into an agreement with professional services company Deloitte, who will thoroughly examine all potential projects before they are listed on the crowdfunding platform. Furthermore, any investments made on the platform will be protected by fiduciary agent, Imara Fiduciary.
Realty Africa co-founder and chief financial officer (CFO) van Eeten commented:
“For developers in Africa and investors it is difficult to find each other. Most investors still find it scary to invest in Africa. That’s why experienced and large investors control almost the entire market.”
Once the platform is up and running in the region, investors will have access to markets that have long been out of reach. Several projects have already been approved for crowdfunding by Deloitte, including the construction of family homes as well as hotels, lodges and social housing projects.
Property development in Africa still has a huge amount of potential for upward growth, with The World Bank predicting that the crowdfunding sector in the continent could potentially reach $2.58 billion over the next several years. Interest rates are also very low in Africa which may encourage native investors to avail of new opportunities for capital growth such as that which Realty Africa intends offering.

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