ICO Analysis: Realisto

In the nascent but bustling world of ICOs, developing a unique value proposition isn’t always easy. When a project like Realisto comes along with the promise of asset-backed tokens, investors quickly take notice.

Realisto is a globally decentralized and borderless platform dedicated to crowdfunding real estate opportunities. Through blockchain technology, the platform allows the real estate industry to raise capital for its projects through the asset-backed REA token.

Since the financial crisis, real estate has been one of the hottest investment opportunities in the advanced industrialized world. Property values in major cities from Sydney to Toronto have reached insanely high levels, leaving many investors out of the fold. By tokenizing real estate investments, Realisto aims to democratize an increasingly prohibitive market.

From the outset, we see great potential.

Token

The REA token is built on the Ethereum blockchain and backed by smart contracts. REA holders generate value from the token in two important ways: through exposure to real estate and through the utility provided by the Realisto platform. With respect to the latter, REA tokens generate ether-based profits from Realisto’s core pool of assets as well as fees generated through the platform’s services.

According to the company’s whitepaper, 90% of the funds raised via token sale will go toward acquiring high-yield real estate. The remainder of the pot (10%) will be used for sustaining operations.

Pre-sale tokens were value at $0.70, for up to 2 million REA. During the first week of the ICO, the price is $0.85 per token, eventually rising to $1.00 during week four. The token price is based on an ether exchange rate of $330 USD. The ICO will not contain a hard cap.

Token holders will receive ROI directly via ETH on a monthly basis, starting in early 2018. They are entitled to 70% of the fees generated by the Realisto platform.

According to the website Q&A, Realisto is currently negotiating to get its token listed on the major trading platforms. Clearly, REA is meant to be transferable.

Team

Realisto’s core team consists of ten professionals backed by co-founders Rouven Rosenbaum and Leonard Zobel. Given their track record, you’d think these are men with 20+ years of experience in the industry. As it turns out, Rouven is only two years older than your author, whereas Leonard is two years his junior. Both co-founders have an established, albeit not senior, track record in the German real estate industry.

The team also employs four real estate experts, including Manfred Loell, who has assembled a real estate database of more than 45,000 professionals. And what’s an ICO without a CTO, developers and a marketing and communications specialist. These roles also comprise the Realisto team.

The team’s advisory board consists of six senior professionals, including lawyers, consultants, developers a process management professional.

Verdict

Realisto offers plenty of upside for yield-seeking investors. The team has zeroed in on Berlin’s distressed real estate sector, which it says offers the most bang for your buck. At the surface, the risks seem relatively benign, although execution and building a real estate portfolio to scale aren’t to be taken lightly. However, the fact that there is no minimum investment requirement is a huge plus that the author believes strongly outweighs the inherent risks associated with property investment.

Risks

  • Real estate is a booming industry, but several metrics suggest major markets have become overvalued. This doesn’t say anything negatively about Realisto’s business model, but it’s something to bear in mind when investing in these sorts of projects. Perhaps the company has used that knowledge to focus almost exclusively on distressed properties in one of Germany’s largest cities. It remains to be seen whether the company will adopt a similar model to scale its projects moving forward. -1.5
  • As one might expect, Realisto isn’t the only ICO operating in the real estate sector. Real estate token raises have already generated over $35 million in funding this year alone, according to data provided by CoinSchedule. The likes of Propy, REAL and Atlant have released variations of real estate token raises. It remains to be seen whether demand for this sort of project will resonate with the investment community. However, Realisto does a really good job of comparing its platform to other ICOs (see below). -1

Growth Opportunities

  • Pooled real estate investments are nothing new. In fact, Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs) already offer a similar program whereby investors purchase shares in a pool of high-quality mortgages. The major difference with Realisto (aside from the fact that it isn’t a MIC) is it provides a much lower barrier to entry. Whereas most MICs or similar programs require significant capital to invest, Realisto has no minimum or maximum investment requirement. Services that offer a lower barrier essentially take what works from existing models and make it more readily available for broader consumption. That’s one of the reasons why the author likes Realisto. +4
  • Realisto may be a relatively new venture, but its parent company has been involved in Berlin real estate since 2011. Over that period, it has established a strong industry reputation and has assembled a solid team of experts. For investors, this means you are dealing with a core group of people who are more than capable of finding profitable assets. +3
  • Although Realisto says it it offers access to a global market, the whitepaper emphasizes Germany, and in particular, Berlin. This is perfectly natural, given that the team is based in Europe’s largest economy. This seems to remove much of the regulatory complexity from the investment process, as all funds are secured under one set of laws.  +2.5

Disposition

It’s difficult to find fault with Realisto’s business model. The team is solid and well versed in real estate. In fact, industry expertise should give investors confidence to invest in this project. The team doesn’t appear to have the technical prowess as other tech-based ventures, but its vision is clear from the get-go in that it wants to bring real estate investment to the blockchain.
From an investor’s perspective, the value proposition is very high, as the token provides ROI through real estate profits and fees generated from the Realisto platform.
Against this backdrop, we believe that a score of 7 out 10 is warranted.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: REA
  • Pre-SaleNov. 17 – Nov. 25
  • Public Sale: Nov. 25 – Dec. 25
  • Payments Accepted: ETH

To visit the token sale page, click here.

Disclaimer: No position in Realisto at the time of writing.

Featured Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi