Dubai-based real estate FinTech start-up Stake has raised $8 million in an early stage funding round to drive its growth as regional investors flock to the stability of property investments amid volatile global markets.
The pre-series A funding round was backed by Dubai-based venture capital firm Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and BY Ventures, along with returning investors Vivium Holding and Combined Growth Real Estate, said Stake on Tuesday.
The FinTech will use the proceeds to grow its workforce and expand into Saudi Arabia and Egypt by the first quarter of 2023.
“Investors in the region and beyond deserve a more transparent, digital-friendly means of investing in real estate,” Stake's founders Rami Tabbara, Manar Mahmassani and Ricardo Brizido said.
“This round is a testament to our mission at Stake to bring access and liquidity to the oldest, largest, and most sought-after asset class in the world.”
Start-ups in the UAE raised $699 million in the first half of 2022, ranking the country as the leading destination for venture capital financing in the Mena region, according to data platform Magnitt.
The Emirates was also the leader in terms of deals, which grew by 10 per cent in the six-month period from a year ago.
Regional investors have been attracted to digital services offered by FinTech, e-commerce and transport and logistics start-ups.
However, the appeal of the property sector has increased as platforms come up with new technology that is disrupting traditional real estate deals in the region.
Over the past few months, online property platform Nawy, Dubai real estate portal houza and property management platform Darent raised more than $10m collectively.
The most notable round this year has been Huspy’s $37m series A round.
Stake aims to expand into Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's biggest economy, and Egypt, the most populous Arab country, early next year, as it takes advantage of the boom in the region's real estate sector, it said.
The start-up aims to encourage more investors in Saudi Arabia and Egypt to tap into the rapidly growing asset class in their domestic markets, it said.
“We believe that the future of property investment is digital, fractional and hassle-free. The team at Stake has enabled thousands to become real estate investors and we are excited to partner with them as they scale in [the] Mena [region],” said MEVP partner Riyad Abou Jaoudeh.
Abdallah Yafi, founder and managing partner at BY Ventures, said “we strongly believe in the execution capabilities of the Stake team and their ability to build a dominant business while focusing on delivering profitable growth”.
Stake will use the new capital to improve its product offering, technology and brand, as well as expand within the region, with the aim of “enabling a borderless, liquid and accessible market for quality real estate investments”, it said.
“We believe that property investment stands at the core of any wealth-building strategy and we continue to stand behind Stake as they are democratising real estate ownership across the region,” said Elie Khouri, founder of Vivium Holding.