Crypto Real Estate AG is a good example of the tangible advantages offered by blockchain. The start-up wants to make property management more transparent and efficient, and this begins with the blockchain, which removes the need for intermediaries. CEO Brigitte Luginbühl describes three areas of application. In future, rental payments will be able to be made directly via digital wallets in a crypto currency, such as ether. And craftspeople can be paid directly with the crypto currency, as the payment can be triggered automatically.
The second area concerns documentation; for example, after several changes of ownership, tenant lists and information on historical vacancies or investments are not always complete. If these documents were stored on the blockchain, they would be fully and permanently available, even after a change of ownership. “The field of documentation alone offers an incredible amount of potential for greater efficiency,” says Luginbühl.
Oversubscribed seed round
And, third, real estate shares can be traded relatively simply via tokens. With its Initial Coin Offering (ICO), Crypto Real Estate AG intends to use SwissRealCoin to help crypto investors invest in property managed with the proptech start-up’s technology. A first seed round was significantly oversubscribed; the lead investor was Bauwens digital, an off-shoot of the German construction services company. Now the actual ICO is pending. “We have double-digit million reservations for the ICO,” explains Luginbühl. The target is CHF 150 million.
She emphasises that Crypto Real Estate is not building a property fund. The start-up does not charge a management fee for fund management, but finances itself through rental income and thus has a strong mutual interest with SwissRealCoin investors. In future, license revenue for the property management software via the blockchain should make up the main share of sales. “We are clearly a proptech company,” says Luginbühl.
IT experts on board
The fact that software, including artificial intelligence, plays a major role is reflected in the team. In addition to experienced property and financial experts, CTO Yauhen Yakimovich is also on board. He has worked at the University of Zurich and Zalando as a software developer, and most recently was CTO of fintech start-up PriceHubble. In addition, the serial entrepreneur Yury Melnichek, who has already successfully sold a company to Google, is acting as a consultant.
Where the path of Crypto Real Estate will lead ultimately is not yet clear. However, the vision and the first steps are very ambitious. And international expansion has also started: preparations for a GermanRealCoin and a EuropeanRealCoin are already well advanced.