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Hamburg-based Exporo AG operates the most successful German platform for real estate crowd investing

Exporo AG: Björn Maronde promises easy and free access to digital real estate investments

Dienstag, 24 März 2020 14:29 geschrieben von 
Dr. Björn Maronde is Chief Marketing Officer of Exporo AG Dr. Björn Maronde is Chief Marketing Officer of Exporo AG

Hamburg – In 2014, real estate professionals Simon Brunke, Björn Maronde, Julian Oertzen and Tim Bütecke founded Exporo AG, which brings together project developers and investors via its real estate financing platform. Some are looking for financing alternatives to bank loans and others for high-yield investment alternatives. Crowd investing platforms thus bring investors and borrowers together for mutual benefit. Building contractors can use the mezzanine capital provided by investors to partially finance their projects. The mezzanine capital enables project companies to release parts of their traditional equity from bank financing and to use the released capital flexibly for real estate projects. This flexibility is so important to the companies that they offer investors and investors attractive interest rates of five to seven percent.

Exporo is by far the most successful German platform for digital real estate investments. The company now employs over 200 people and is based in Hamburg's HafenCity. Under the motto „Invest simply and directly in real estate“, the financial services provider offers investors an overview of various real estate projects in which they can invest simply, transparently and free of charge, as Board Member Dr. Björn Maronde emphasizes.

Investors can choose between „Exporo Finanzierung“ and „Exporo Bestand“. In the first model, the investor participates in promising real estate projects such as the construction of new residential buildings and the renovation of commercial properties. These short term investments can start with a minimum amount of 500 Euro. An annual interest rate of four to six percent is promised. Maronde repeatedly points out the new opportunities that arise for small investors with the minimum sum of 500 euros. For the first time, he says, they would be able to build up their own real estate portfolio: „Up to now, only institutional investors and those with a lot of money, time and expertise have earned money on real estate. Now small investors also have the chance.“ With „Exporo Bestand“, one participates in special portfolio properties and benefits from regular distributions from the rent surpluses and the increase in value of the property. Entry is possible from 1,000 euros, in order to earn an annual yield of three to six percent. Investors become digital co-owners, which means they do not have to worry about renting and maintaining the property themselves. They can sell their ownership shares at any time on the Exporo marketplace.

„In addition to classic real estate capital investment, new forms of investment make uncomplicated and direct investment in real estate possible“, says Björn Maronde. The Exporo Board Member for Sales, Marketing and IT explains the advantages of the business model as follows: „With crowd investing for real estate, there is no need for the investor himself to worry about reducing vacancies, the creditworthiness of tenants or permanent repairs. He can participate in attractive real estate projects online via the portal, the handling is very easy and the investment is transparent. Investors receive a higher return compared to conventional real estate investments.“

This seems to be the view of many investors who, in view of the persistently low interest rates, are looking for investment opportunities with good interest rates and come across Exporo. By the end of February this year, the platform operators had financed 249 real estate projects and brokered more than 584 million euros for them. 224.5 million euros have already been repaid to the crowd investors. Exporo AG proudly points to over 25,000 mobilized investors.

According to its own statement, the North German FinTech makes the greatest possible efforts to minimise the risks for investors. Thus only examined and for respectable judged real estate projects are advertised on the own platform. Almost 60 company-owned real estate experts examine all projects for security and earnings potential. Of the up to 25 financing enquiries per week, only one or two projects make it onto the digital marketplace. Just as critically as the financing projects, possible existing properties are also examined. The Exporo professionals search for worthwhile properties, especially in Germany, which are economically evaluated with the help of external appraisers. Only when the experts have approved and released a project are the investment offers published. Then the actual process of raising capital begins. Via a trustee, the collected funds are paid out to the project company on the contractually agreed date. At the agreed maturity date, the loan plus interest is then repaid to the private investors – again via the trustee.

With the digitalisation of real estate investments, Simon Brunke, Björn Maronde, Tim Bütecke and Julian Oertzen have revolutionised the market for tangible assets and have become the German market leader. Exporo and crowd investing provider Zinsland have joined forces to pool resources and expertise. The merger was announced in October last year. The fact that the German industry leader in digital real estate financing and the number two in the industry are joining forces is a watershed. Together, the two platforms have a market share of almost 85 percent in real estate crowd investing.

Exporo-CEO Simon Brunke is delighted with the deal: „With the Zinsland team, we are gaining strong growth with valuable real estate and financing expertise. In addition, the B2B extension Caladio is the perfect complement to our digital offering.“ The Caladio platform developed by Zinsland covers both financing structuring and ongoing reporting for project developers and banks. The portal enables medium-sized real estate companies to submit their financing requests in a time-saving manner and to have them structured and evaluated immediately. Capital procurement for project realization can thus be applied for, realized and documented without problems. Fritz von Stechow, founder of Zinsland, underlines: „With Caladio we are creating a comprehensive solution for the first time, with which we can completely map commercial real estate financing. We are the first provider ever to offer the real estate industry a complete digital service for financing their projects. From credit application to credit reporting for all stakeholders.“

The current investment issues of Zinsland investors will continue to be managed by the previous platform operator. Existing loan agreements are not affected by the development, and partners in the agreements remain the respective issuers. After successful completion of the project, the repayment of current loans will also be handled as usual via Zinsland's online marketplace. Only for the new projects is Exporo AG responsible.

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