DUBAI: A new Dubai real estate fintech startup, which is being backed by a Saudi national, is aiming to offer investors the chance to get on the property ladder from as little as 2,000 dirham ($544).
Launching today, Stake is based in the FinTech Hive in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). It was established by co-founders Rami Tabbarra, a former senior vice president of sales at developer DAMAC, and Manar Mahmassani, a former managing director at Falcon Group and vice president at Deutsche Bank.
Stake allows investors to buy shares in a property in Dubai and earn regular returns in the form of quarterly dividends. The entry level for investors is 2,000 dirham, all the way up to a third of the value of an individual property.
The co-founders came up with the idea two years ago and began seeking funding in March, just as the coronavirus pandemic hit. They have raised $2 million so far, with another round of funding currently taking place.
One of the backers is from Saudi Arabia and the company is aiming to expand outside Dubai to the Kingdom in the near future.
“Saudi Arabia is a big market for us. We believe there is huge potential there, so it is on our roadmap. We will start looking at getting some Saudi investors on board and onto our platform within the first year,” Tabbarra told Arab News.
“One of our investors is a Saudi national, in the platform, actually in the company . . . He’s a strategic investor, part of that is (to) actually scale into Saudi Arabia very soon.”
Stake is currently focused on built properties, not off-plan, and residential buildings in prime locations such as Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina and Business Bay.
While COVID has seen a slowdown in many sectors, Tabbarra said it has been good for real estate investors as it now means there are opportunities for those looking to buy.
“We’re close to the bottom of the market. You’re seeing the prices that are below replacement cost so you can actually buy things today for cheaper than it costs to build. But, you know, it’s a great time to get into the market. We see this as an opportunity to buy some great real estate that are actually yielding numbers that are higher than anywhere else in the world,” he said.