By Henry Thomas on Wednesday 8 July 2015
Start-up real estate investment platform Brickvest has secured the backing of venture capitalist Global Founders Capital, the venture capital arm of Rocket Internet.
The decision by GFC means that Brickvest joins platforms such as SocietyOne, Bondora and Iwoca, as part of GFC's investment portfolio. Add those to Rocket Internet’s backing of platforms Spotcap, Zencap and Lendico and a sustained attempt to develop an imprssive AltFi portfolio emerges. GFC’s decision to expand its Fintech portfolio is a move that is mimicked across the venture investment world with investments totalling $1.48 billion in Europe in 2014, three times the level seen in 2013. Oliver Samwer - founder and CEO of Rocket Internet - has shed some light on the investment decision:
"We're always looking for strong teams which work well with us and grow a start-up into a successful business - especially in a growing field like fintech. We were very impressed by the founding team and its extensive experience in real estate, investment services and technology."
The investment decision is unusual, as GFC rarely invest in a start-up pre-launch. Mr. Samwer cited Brickvest's ability to "cause a paradigm shift to how real-estate investment takes place across the globe" and potential for impressive growth as reasons behind taking this unusual step.
On this new partnership, Emmanuel Lumineau - CEO of Brickvest - commented:
"We're thrilled to have Global Founders Capital back our business proposition ahead of the launch and it is testament to our vision and strategy that they have decided to do so"
When discussing what Brickvest would bring to the market, Mr. Lumineau added:
"Real estate investment services have been closed off to a majority of investors for too long and our platform can deliver these services to a wider audience. With the business growth experience of the Global Capital team, we expect BrickVest to make a big impact in the market."
The unusual move by GFC to invest in a pre-launch company indicates the promise of not only Brickvest, but also the alternative finance industry across Europe. A recent report by Massolution predicted real estate crowdfunding to rise by 150% in 2015 to a staggering $2.5 bn. As a proportion, the European market makes up 42% of that. Based on this evidence, GFC may well have picked an investment with enormous growth potential and Brickvest, with backers such as GFC, is in for an exciting launch.