A Perth-based real estate crowdfunding platform has closed a $2.1 million funding round as it readies for a big expansion into China.
CrowdfundUP, Australia’s first real estate crowdfunding startup, secured the equity funding with Positive Investment Enteprise.
The platform offers investment selection and management tools for all levels of investors to access property investment opportunities online.
The startup, which launched in March last year, met with Positive Investment Enterprise co-founder and CEO Ali Mohammed earlier this year, CrowdfundUP founder and managing director Jack Quigley says.
“I was drawn to Ali’s entrepreneurial success and thought he was someone good to be involved with our business,” Quigley tells StartupSmart.
For Mohammed, CrowdfundUP was a “standout from the start”.
“By investing in CrowdfundUP, we envision a strategic partnership from shared values through combined opportunities, enhanced funding capabilities and resource contributions,” Mohammed says.
“This strategic partnership will deliver access to new markets and customers, accelerate innovation driven development cycles and improve CrowdfundUP’s competitive positioning in the market.”
The cash injection will be used to facilitate a rapid expansion into China, with the startup recently taking part in an Austrade mission to the country last year, and Quigley speaking at a conference in Shanghai earlier this month.
“We’ll start to do more and more trips to Shanghai,” he says.
“We’re now looking at the potential of working with good sister platforms in the Asia marketplace.”
The funding will also be used for further product development and to ready the company for local competition, he says.
“We’re really focused on solidifying our position in Australia,” Quigley says.
“In America there are now 150 platforms, and in Australia we’ll see more and more platforms popping up.
“Competition is a great thing. Every entrepreneur should welcome competition – it brings out the best in every entrepreneur.”
Quigley says other founders and entrepreneurs should look towards Australia’s neighbours in Asia when readying for international expansions.
“Everyone thinks there’s a great divide between ourselves and China but there’s really not,” he says.
“It’s a short flight – there’s a lot of trade being done with our neighbours in Asia. If you put yourself out in the world business can be done.”
In terms of fundraising, it’s important for founders to know what they’re getting themselves into, he says.
“Don’t try to be something that you’re not,” Quigley says.
“If you go in as yourself then if it’s meant to work, it’ll work.
“It’s literally a grind. Being a startup founder is the best job in the world but it can also be one of the loneliest.
“You need a good team around you and you need to be prepared and know what you’re getting into.”