RealX, a Pune-based fintech startup built on blockchain backbone and which has built a digital e-commerce marketplace for Real Estate closed its maiden transaction on Monday, 31st July. Apart from allowing people to transact digitally, RealX has brought-in the concept of fractional ownership in Real Estate transactions.
Fractional ownership is a method in which several unrelated parties can share in, and mitigate the risk of, ownership of a high-value tangible asset, usually a jet, yacht or piece of resort real estate. It can be done for strictly monetary reasons, but typically there is some amount of personal access involved.
Yashwinder Singh, co-founder of RealX says, “Property buying has always been a very involved, high ticket and cumbersome process. Even after that it is fairly illiquid market. Owing to high ticket sizes, most of us were not able to participate in Real Estate, especially commercial Real Estate. We, at RealX wanted to create an option for people to participate in high value, high yield property transactions at lower ticket sizes and without the usual running around. I’m happy to say that we could build a solution and the first transaction, though small in size, nonetheless demonstrates that capability”.
The unique ecommerce platform allows sellers and agents to post property and all registered buyers can commit their co-ownership share in the respective properties. A transaction is successful if it can generate the total commitments required for full sale, after which the transaction is executed in favor of the co-owners whose collective interest is represented by principal custodian cum administrator.
After the sale deed is registered, it is sent to REGKO for issuance of equitable fractional ownership digital certificates, also called FRAX to respective co-owners. REGKO is another Pune-based fintech startup that provides Asset Registry solutions based on Distributed Ledger technology, commonly known as Blockchain.
Abhishek Gupta, CEO of REGKO, says, “Our solution was ideally suited for RealX, as we can keep verified records of the fractional ownerships on Blockchain. This technology has inherent benefits of immutability (tamper proof) and verifiability of records. These records are kept distributed across multiple nodes and this ensures the durability and correctness of it. RealX wanted all of these as its registry solution and we are glad to support it”.
Manish Kumar, Group CEO of iVentures and the brain behind both the companies, says “I’m very happy that our hard work of almost one and half years, has finally seen success. Overall what we have been able to create is a deep mix of legal, finance and technology to bring forth to people an ability to participate in properties in a manner that was erstwhile neither accessible nor affordable. This heralds a paradigm change in how we understand property investments and how we buy, sell and hold them. It will open up many new avenues of financial engagements as well. However, these are early days and we have only taken first steps. We will now open up our platform for various players in Real Estate industry to register with us and begin commercial transactions in two to three months.”
Fractional Ownership is a fast evolving concept, relatively unknown in India, where an asset is owned by many persons fractionally. Fractional means that the asset is split into fractions for the purposes of initial capital
Notably, the term fractional ownership originally became popular for business jets. Richard Santulli of NetJets pioneered the concept of allowing businesses to purchase shares in a jet to reduce costs. Many pilots get together to buy light aircraft in a privately bought and managed fractional ownership, this is often known as group flying.