Through a crowdfunding platform, Rodrigo Niño, the CEO and founder of Prodigy Network – one of the largest crowd-investing platforms in the world – is seeking to “democratize” access to real estate investment opportunities and projects in New York.
Niño, who is a former business partner of Donald Trump, plans to raise as much as $180 million USD annually by enabling investors to buy into real estate holdings in New York City for as low as $1,000 by mid-2017. Currently, Prodigy invests in real estate holdings around the world,but can only accept buy-ins of $50,000 and up.
According to Niño, this new crowdfunding real estate investment instrument provides yields of 12 to 14 percent annually, which is higher than those currently granted by the FIBRAs, which are like REITs in the United States and pay dividends between 4 to 5 percent, on average. Yields are obtained from the income paid by tenants of the buildings, once they are put into operation.
"The difference between FIBRAs and crowdfunding is that the FIBRA is a multi-asset fund and we focus on specific properties,” Niño stated. “When you invest in multi-assets you lose visibility where they do not really know where your money is, but here you choose the asset. In the FIBRAs you give money to someone to invest, here you are the one who is investing.”
The company already has a portfolio of six properties (five properties in New York and one in Colombia), with a total value of one billion dollars. Furthermore, in five years Niño says he earned approximately 440 million through the crowdfunding investment model.
Given the vibrancy of the property market in NYC, it is difficult for these properties lose value, which makes investments in the real estate segment so attractive to the public. Furthermore, income from commercial prices rises about six percent each year, according to Gian Longinotti, who serves as customer relationship manager at Prodigy Network.
The company started in the crowdfunding model in 2010. It is regulated by the 'Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act,' which is a law that was enacted by President Obama in 2012 that established the rules for the operation of crowdfunding investments in order to prevent fraud.
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