RIYADH: Stake, a Dubai-based financial technology (fintech) and real estate investment platform backed by Saudi investors, is in talks to expand into Saudi Arabia.
Launched in December 2020 to disrupt the region’s real estate investment market, Stake is based in the FinTech Hive in the Dubai International Financial Centre. It was established by co-founders Rami Tabbara, 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.
The company allows investors to buy shares in a property and earn regular returns in the form of quarterly dividends. The entry-level for investors is 2,000 dirham ($544), all the way up to a third of the value of an individual property.
Stake announced on Tuesday that it has raised $4 million in a seed funding round led by Combined Growth Real Estate, a company led by Amer Hammour, founder and chairman of Madison Marquette, a US-based real estate investment management company.
It also attracted participation from Dubai-based private family office Vivium Capital, Zurich-headquartered venture capital firm Verve Ventures, UK-based Chalgrove Properties Limited, Riyadh-based Lama Holding and Mishaal Alireza, a Saudi Arabian angel investor.
Alireza told Arab News: “I am very proud to have supported Stake since their launch. Their proposition is bringing positive change to the real estate market by propelling it to the digital age and by creating an all-inclusive real estate proposition for investors in the region and abroad. I look forward to seeing them play an important role in the real estate and fintech market across Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.”
Stake currently operates in Dubai, but it is planning to use the new funding to expand into Saudi Arabia, co-founder Tabbara told Arab News.
“We are already in talks with Saudi-based real estate developers on how we can partner in bringing Stake to the Kingdom. With all the positive changes that are happening at record speed, we believe that this is the best time to launch a product like Stake in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“We have the perfect ingredients to make our entry into the market successful. The population has a 92 percent smartphone penetration rate and an affinity to property investment, and the government’s Vision 2030 supports increasing property supply and ownership,” he added.
Stake will use the funds to scale and enhance the platform by introducing new products and features, invest in sales and marketing, and expand its current workforce of 15 employees.
Commenting on Saudi expansion in December last year, Tabbara said: “Saudi Arabia is a big market for us. We believe there is huge potential there.”
Since launching five months ago, Stake has attracted over 4,000 registered users from 54 different nations and is seeing a 30 percent month-on-month increase in average sales. As well as expanding into Saudi Arabia, Stake is also eying a move into the UK market.