VentureCrowd stakes its claim as alternative investment option

Local equity-based crowd-funding platform VentureCrowd and residential property developer Clearstate have closed a second funding round, giving more than 50 investors 49 per cent equity of a development site in western Sydney. VentureCrowd’s crowd-funding platform allows investors to buy equity of a property development before it’s subdivided and sold, and former Credit Suisse ­adviser Mitchell Hopwood said he invested through his self-­managed superannuation portfolio as an alternative to a listed property fund.

“The Austral opportunity provided a relatively high, short-term return in a bite-size, easily understandable transaction that is fairly de-risked from an investment perspective,” he said.

Mr Hopwood said the crowd-funding platform, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, gave him direct exposure to an investment opportunity.

The targeted return for investors is 84 per cent on a total investment of $1.7 million.

Clearstate commercial director Lachlan Cameron said the 2.4ha development site in Austral, west of Sydney, would be subdivided into 44 residential lots.

“Working with such a specialised platform provides access to a broad range of interested parties and allows us to put our development projects in the hands of the people who really want to invest in them,” he said.

The latest funding round is VentureCrowd’s second oversubscribed funding round in recent months, following a Riverstone East development project that raised more than $900,000 in June.

Luke Fay, the firm’s general manager of equity and credit, said he was astounded by how quickly the latest round was oversubscribed. “Investors clearly have a robust appetite for alternative opportunities, whether it’s start-ups, corporate bonds or in this case, Australian property,” he said.

Since 2013 VentureCrowd has raised almost $10m from hundreds of investors, and founder Jeremy Colless said the platform gave access to alternative investment, including venture capital/private equity, property and credit: “VentureCrowd’s immediate target market is the 443,500 Australian high net worth investors who control $1.6 trillion in wealth, as well as the $550 billion self-managed super fund market.”

Source: VentureCrowd stakes its claim as alternative investment option – The Australian