Former UK equity-based real estate platform Crowdahouse has relaunched as an asset-backed peer-to-peer lending platform.
The move was made to provide an easier experience for platform users, said a Crowdahouse official.
“We’ve been following the market closely since our original launch and have now created a far simpler model for our members,” Gary Corben said.
“The new Crowdahouse model is incredibly simple. Members lend money via a limited company and get security with a first charge over the property, just like a bank.”
Mr. Corben explained that while people wish to invest in property, they find ownership challenging. Crowdahouse’s secured lending model provides the solution, he added.
Another Crowdahouse official said their model protects against issues arising with other property investment models.
“With equity-funded property transactions, the issues surrounding joint ownership, management and exit are highly complex,” cofounder Peter Lane offered. “We fear there will be severe investor disappointment in the future from equity based models.”
Mr. Corben said the Crowdahouse team has experience in both residential property management and financial services, knowledge many new entrants do not possess.
“Our hands-on experience in both residential property and financial services has enabled us to remove the key problem areas of crowdfunding, making the investment decision much more straightforward.”
“Unfortunately, there are a number of ventures that see entry to the business of property crowdfunding as easy, perhaps as simple as building an online platform. But understanding the complex legal issues, meeting regulatory compliance and the reality of actually managing the crowd in a property fund, is truly challenging.”
Crowdahouse also has plans to expand its peer to peer lending base into retail customers.
Crowdahouse’s re-entry begins with a loan project to raise £500,000 (USD$790,000) to refinance an apartment block called Pullman House. Lenders will get a 10% p.a. return for a 9 month term secured with a first charge over the property.