Jean-Sébastien Drolet on crowdfunding portal RealStarter

Phil Siarri talks to Jean-Sébastien Drolet who, along with Do Nguyen, founded RealStarter, a Montreal and Quebec City-based real estate crowdfunding platform.

Hi Jean-Sébastien, can you tell me about your background and your new venture RealStarter?

RealStarter is a crowdfunding portal for real estate. The goal is to allow retail investors to invest in real estate projects alongside experienced developers. It works like a traditional crowdfunding platform. Experienced developers can raise funds from the crowd through our web platform. The deals are displayed online, and people can make a monetary contribution in the projects they like. In exchange for their contributions, crowdfunders receive debt titles or shares from the developer’s company. On RealStarter, the developer has 90 days to reach his fundraising target, if the target isn’t reached, the money is returned to the investors. Ultimately, the objective is to use technology to provide cheaper capital to the developer and a better real estate investment to the investor.

What are the main challenges to educate prospective users/investors on crowdfunding?

I think another big challenge for any crowdfunding portal is to build trust with their prospective users. The only way to do that is to show it works from day one by selecting good deals and experienced real estate developers with a good track record.

Despite the recent legalisation of real estate crowdfunding in Quebec, what regulatory challenges are you still facing?

Read the rest of the interview on BankNXT

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