EXCLUSIVE: Southeast Asia's first real estate crowd funding and group buying platform has secured investment from Singapore's Media Development Authority that will enable it to further its regional aspirations.
CoAssets.com was launched in Singapore during July and has seen growth from 200 to more than 1,300 registered users within just a few months.
The support from MDA came through its Interactive Digital Media Program which provides investment funding for startups.
Getty Goh, Chief Executive Officer at CoAssets, told PropertyGuru: "While real estate crowd funding has gained wide acceptance in the United States, it is still a relatively new idea in Asia."
"If you think hard, real estate crowd funding is nothing new and many Singaporeans are already doing it in the offline environment. At present, we see family members, friends and even strangers, coming together to crowd fund properties. CoAssets is simply a platform to allow users to engage in real estate crowd funding activities in an online environment.
"Be leveraging the power of the Internet, we believe that CoAssets can increase market transparency by enabling users to do more research and product comparisons before making a decision," he added.
Although CoAssets has been operating for just six months it can boast having more than S$15million of real estate opportunities listed, and seeing more than 10 projects valued at more than S$3million finding suitable crowd funders through the platform.
So far opportunities from Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and the United States have been listed on the platform. In November the company opened an office in Kuala Lumpur to better serve its 200 Malaysian users.
Dr Seh Huan Kiat, Chief Technical Officer at CoAssets, added: "Burgeoning markets in Southeast Asia are full of real estate opportunities as well as individuals looking to grow their wealth through real estate.
"Apart from allowing users to list bulk purchase and crowd funding opportunities, CoAssets provides real estate analytics for users to better navigate through the various markets.
"Due to Southeast Asia's diversity, such tools are essential in helping users better understand the different real estate markets before they commit to invest."
Goh concluded: "We are definitely trying to grow CoAssets' user base as fast as possible. While the company was founded in Singapore, there are only so many opportunities available in a single country.
"Ultimately, it is a numbers game. By setting our sights beyond Singapore and into Southeast Asia, we believe the pool of opportunity seekers as well as opportunity providers will be much bigger."
Seh confirmed that future plans include seeking investors from the United States and Europe who are keen to participate in Southeast Asia's growing real estate markets.
Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email firstname.lastname@example.org
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