The first digitized real-estate investment platform in the World
Stefan Hickmott, Founder and CEO of Evareium a real estate asset and management advisory firm based in the UAE, spoke with UNLOCK in Dubai, about how Evareium is changing the real-estate investment landscape using blockchain. According to Hickmott it all started because there was a need, as he explained, “Investment banks were saying they have funds and that they were looking for yields. At the time we had no projects like that. So we decided to create a REIT a real-estate investment trust which is a security that invests in real-estate and works much like a stock exchange. This allows us to make investors happy both those looking for capital gain as well as those looking for yields.” He adds, “We are interested in older buildings that need renovation, or have a short gestation life, or buildings that need completion capital.”
The dynamics became more interesting when Evareium found Blockchain a year ago. Hickmott, “Blockchain added a more interesting dynamic to the project because we were able to add elements of liquidity to it through a digitized token with an exchange aspect to it. So instead of people just being a limited partner in a fund with a 10 year lock in, with a digital token on an exchange they can cash out when their needs change while retaining anonymity.”
It doesn’t mean that any individual can invest in this REIT Fund, with current regulations, the fund is open to investors with $250,000 and KYC is carried out diligently through coinface in Gibraltar. However it has become easier to investors who want to have an investment in Dubai real-estate to do so. As Hickmott explains, “ Before an investor had to come to Dubai check out apartments or homes, choose one, carry out the purchase, find a renter, follow up with payment, and maintenance, today they can get a double digit return and have the REIT manage the investment.”
Projects are already lined up. So how does it work? There are actually three tokens that Evareium is working with. The first one is the REIT token, and the investment Token, the third token is Smart asset management token. Hickmott states, “With the use of Smart contracts that flows through the systems of operation, users can pay through their tokens and gain loyalty points immediately or discounts. Moreover the Big data that will be gathered from the assets in the building will further not only increase administrative efficiency but energy efficiency and others.”
The platform is built on Ethereum by Block Gemini and is currently live and running. Hickmott, “We are the world’s first module of its kind for digitized real-estate investment platform. We will at later stages connect with Dubai Land Department and other entities once all of them are on the Blockchain. In the future real-estate transactions will move hands within the REIT and when we exit all on Blockchain.”
He adds, “Instead of having to have different REITs for different properties, we are creating a Master REIT and then investors can drop down and invest in the REITs they want with a sub token like structure. They can choose between Islamic compliant REITS, locations. We have created this for a click-in-and-click-out’ digitalized investment generation, targeting the largest asset class in the world at US$ 220 trillion in value and over US$ 10 trillion in economic contribution globally per year.”
Evareium has launched its token sale after pre sale success. As Hickmott states, “We hope to raise $90 million in token sales. We already have a soft commitment of $10 million. We also signed an MOU with Nousplatform to integrate EVM tokens with the electronic exchange framework.” The primary goal of Nousplatform was to create an online ground for immediate digital investments via a “tokenized fund” for regulated real estate assets by deploying a smart blockchain contract solution. EVM Blockchain Limited is a Cayman Islands company which is to be the issuer of the Evareium fund offering. Evareium advises EVM Blockchain Limited on matters relating to the establishment of the Evareium real estate initiative and evaluates assets and projects suitable for Evareium.
Hickmott is also proud to announce that Evareium has secured the rights to acquire its first $20 million real-estate portfolio in Dubai. He stated, “The portfolio comprises complete buildings totaling almost 700 apartments across two new up-and-coming master communities in Dubai involving exclusively asset-managed units. These fully leased, high-quality residential serviced apartment buildings involve a range of leased, asset-managed and owned spaces. Evareium intends to take a 100 percent interest in the operator of these assets through a leveraged buy-out of the asset owner’s holding company during the second quarter of2018.”
As for the future, Hickmott believes that people will always remain the strong asset of any company, but that all securities will eventually be on the Blockchain. He concludes, “We believe in the Blockchain internet and eventually all securities will be tokenized.”
The first stage of ICO will end on April 5th and the second stage will be announced at a later date.