Founders: Jatin Ondhia and Sandeep Puri
Business: An online investment platform enabling investors to access lucrative institutional grade investments in the real estate sector on a fractional basis.
Shojin is at the forefront of the online real estate market, a sector that is expected to grow from $15bn today to $800bn by 2027, aided by the rapidly-growing, affluent middle-class and booming demand for real estate all over the world.
The company introduced the co-investment concept to mid-market real estate development in 2017, meaning investors can back projects for as little as £5,000 and expect returns of between 15% and 25%. This huge innovation in a part of the sector that has been slow to digitise made property investment accessible, simple, and affordable.
The company was co-founded by Jatin Ondhia and Sandeep Puri, two seasoned executives coming from the banking and construction industries respectively. They had already established successful property portfolios when they decided more than just the richest 1% of people should benefit from the opportunity to make institutional grade real estate investments.
Shojin is changing the landscape by lowering the barriers to entry whilst acting as a consistent and trusted provider of junior finance for property developers, with project finance typically very hard to secure. Unusually, for an early stage fintech company, Shojin is already profitable, having completed more than 25 deals, and is on course to generate revenue of £2m this year while closing a significant Series A funding round.
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Shojin does not take large upfront fees, invests its own capital into every project, puts itself in a first loss position, and shares profits at the end. This is crucial for trust; not only will Shojin lose its investment first if a project fails, it only makes money when its investors get paid. By sharing the profits at the back end, investors earn a handsome return, with Shojin also sharing profits from the developer, thus being fully aligned with investors and incentivised to ensure the project completes according to the plan.
As the solution expands and exceeds projected growth, its objective is to lower the minimum investment threshold from £5,000 to under £100 while broadening the pool of potential investors, allowing for the onboarding of an ever larger investor base. The plan is to achieve this across other key growth markets such as India, APAC and East Africa, empowering more projects to be financed in a virtuous ‘social capitalist’ circle with the help of Series B fundraising within the next 3 years.
Shojin was unsurprisingly affected by Covid-19, as many real estate development projects were put on hold while costs of materials and labour rose. But despite the combination of Brexit, the pandemic, and the cost inflation and supply chain issues, developers behind all of Shojin’s initiatives have managed to navigate the past year well and investor returns will not be affected.
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