Interview with Brickowner CEO, Frederick Bristol
We interviewed Brickowner's CEO, Frederick Bristol, to find out more about this growing 'property investment platform'. Launched last year, Brickowner facilitates investment in asset-backed property loans. They recently closed an equity funding round on Seedrs and have big plans for 2019.
Can you provide an overview of Brickowner?
Brickowner is a property investment platform that provides access to exclusive, professionally managed property investments from £100 via a straightforward, no-nonsense format. We aim to curate the best property investments and make them accessible to everyone.
Why did you start Brickowner and what was your biggest challenge in launching the platform?
I worked in property for 15 years, before founding Brickowner. I saw the difficulties that many developers had in securing, managing and structuring funding while also witnessing many investors missing out on many investment opportunities due to high minimum thresholds and a lack of accessibility. By solving these two problems, our platform changes this. With a background in property, I had to rely heavily on my team to help build and test the technology of the platform, to ensure we delivered a market-leading site that supported both property investment managers and their investors.
What type of investments should investors expect to find on the Brickowner platform?
Property investments form a large market. The private rental sector is worth over £1.29 trillion; with our platform covering this and all other UK property markets we can source the best opportunities from a large pool of potential investments. We aim to offer both equity and lending opportunities across different property sectors like residential, hotel, industrial, student housing, and even cemetery investments.
No two properties are the same, and this is reflected in the investments. Being able to draw on our experience in property, we can ensure that every investment that makes it onto the platform weighs up an acceptable level of risk against the projected ROI. We aim to access target returns from property loans of 8% plus, and on equity investments of 20% plus.
Can you describe the investment structure and how this is linked to the underlying assets?
At Brickowner we currently have two types of investments,: equity and debt.
For equity investments, investors own a share of the property and can receive a return from rent, adding value and onward sale.
For property loans, investors lend while using the property as security, in a similar way to how banks issue mortgages. How an investment is structured depends upon the specifics of that particular investment; we ensure each one gives our investors the best possible terms.
What separates Brickowner from its competitors and why should investors sign up to the platform?
At Brickowner we put our investors first by being highly selective about the quality of the investments we offer. We ensure our platform is easy to use while securing exclusive investments. Where else could you invest in a holiday let development, hotel and cemetery, all from behind your laptop? All our investments are 100% asset-backed, and by doing the hard work, we take the hassle out of investing. No other platform does this.
Congratulations on closing a recent investment round on the Seedrs platform. Can you reveal any future product updates?
Over 2019 we plan to offer an auto-invest feature to allow our users to diversify their portfolios automatically. A secondary market will allow investors to sell their investment before the projected term. We are also looking to offer a number of bonds to enable our investors to hedge against the uncertainty posed by Brexit. Moreover, we plan to innovate further with other new investment opportunities that I hope will be firsts in the UK PropTech sector.
Thanks to Frederick for taking the time to speak with Orca.