In an interview with El Economista , one of the founders of SeSocio.com, Guido Quaranta, explained how the platform works and why he considers it a "supermarket of investments in the real economy".
How does the SeSocio.com platform work?
It is an investment marketplace, a kind of "investment supermarket" that allows non-sophisticated investors to participate for low amounts of investment in the real economy, such as buying a m2 in a real estate project in other parts of the world. Since May we have more than 11,000 registered users, 900 active investors with 3,100 investments, and about 14 financed projects, almost all of real estate and logistics.
What is the difference with other methods of financing projects, such as crowfunding?
Conceptually it is similar to crowdfunding because there are lots of people joining together to finance something, but we do not use that term because it is confused with platforms that seek to fund non-profit projects, such as artistic launches. Instead, concrete real-life investments are financed here, people put money into projects that also seek to earn money. We are not an investment fund either because people choose exclusively in which project of the real economy to participate, that is, they do not give their funds to an administrator who is going to change the composition of the assets. Neither do we invest in financial instruments because we do not want to be confused with a stock exchange company.
What types of investments does the platform fund today?
The idea is that people can invest very simply in what they want, covering most possible items in the real economy. We try to make the public feel part of the project in which they are investing, that they know what the project is about and that they can see it physically. For now, as we must first explain to the people how your investment is being channeled, we start with simpler projects to understand: several of real estate and one of logistics in the US, where we are buying trucks for a company that administers them. and pay for the performance of those vehicles. Beyond this, we have projects in different areas in the portfolio, such as investing in ATMs in the USA. through Oddisey - with an expected yield of 30% -, livestock breeding and sale projects, football players' passes, works of art by well-known artists, and the gastronomic business - such as the opening of restaurant branches in New York.
What steps must the investor that wants to join the platform follow?
When you enter the site, you will find the different projects that are posted in different areas. The projects have a very simple description, trying that in the first two or three lines there is a very precise explanation of what the business is, like: "You are going to invest in a house in Detroit and you are going to earn money with the rent of about 15%. " The investor must press the "invest" button, charge the amount he wants to allocate and send it with credit card, transfer or bitcoins. The investment is made 100% online, accepting the terms and conditions where it adheres to our trust and the lawfulness of the funds is signed.
What other information can the investor see?
After that, there is a section of the project where the investor can see the information of the product, for example on how it evolved, the times it paid rent, if the value of the lot is going up, and so on. And for those who want to retire, we have a multi-currency trading platform where the participation in any project can be put on sale and another investor buys it. With the liquidity received, that balance can be used to allocate it to another project or send it to the bank.
How many are the minimums and maximums to enter?
The minimum is US $ 1 and there is no maximum, but in the latter case we focus on smaller investors - the average ticket is US $ 500 - because those who have US $ 100,000 can directly buy a lot on their own. However, even these big investors are going to understand that it is convenient for them to invest here because of the risk diversification: if we sell seven lots, you will own a portion of the seven and not one, so you atomize your investment .
What costs and performances does the operation have?
The investor enters the projects for free and to sell their shares in the trading platform must pay 1.5%, plus another 1.5% if he wants to take the money to the bank (cash out), which we use basically to cover the Tax to the Check. Regarding returns, who invests in real estate will take for example in the Detroit project 15% in dollars, in logistics 25% in dollars, and in a startup is not known. We always try to ensure that all projects in the real economy can yield a higher yield than buying a dollar bond.
How is the commercial agreement with the entrepreneurs that publish the projects?
For entrepreneurs, we are a sales channel and we charge them a commission to sell their product, after which they themselves manage the business. The commissions we charge are between 5 and 8.5%, but they vary according to the project, since for example in real estate it can be a little less because the value of m2 is standard means and you can not raise it that much. In another example, with a startup the valuation is more subjective and we are left with 5% of the cash and 5% of the equity, which is why we become partners of all the startups financed through the system. Another important part is that we try to ensure that the projects are closed from end to end, that we do not have to administer anything: that is, we only need to give the money to the entrepreneur and return us money. In the middle, what we do is to monitor the progress of the project and we are posting to the investors what's new.
What projection do they make of the platform?
We have to achieve 60,000 active investors in three years and be moving billions of dollars. In other words, to think of US $ 2,000 million for 2020 is not a crazy thing and from here to 12 months we should be handling about US $ 4 million per month.