Commerz Real has become the second-largest shareholder in crowd-investing platform Bergfürst with the acquisition of a 24.9% stake in the start-up.
The €31bn manager said it is investing an undisclosed amount for the stake and will become Bergfürst’s strategic partner.
Founded in 2011, Bergfürst offers project developers and the holders of real estate portfolios standardised access to mezzanine financing. Bergfürst currently has more than 35,000 clients and to date has successfully financed more than 50 real estate projects with a total volume of over €54m.
Andreas Muschter, the CEO of Commerz Real said the shareholding is a further step to ”becoming a digital asset manager”.
“This also includes identifying and developing alternative, new business models. In recent years crowd-investing and equity crowdfunding have developed as alternative investment and financing forms and are being used by more and more investors and project developers.”
Commerz Real regards the vehicle as a supplement to the classical fund business and expects the market to further establish itself and post above-average growth in the coming years, Muschter said, adding that Commerz Real intends to tap into this potential.
Florian Stadlbauer, head of digitalisation at Commerz Real, said: “There are several reasons why we chose Bergfürst. Clients seek the best-possible mix of yield, quality, service and an extensive investment offering on such a platform.
“Bergfürst offers all this and is unique because from the very outset the founders attached great significance to customer service and the quality of the projects and the platform, and did not go looking for growth at any price.”
Examples of this are the secondary market, the automatic payment of taxes, yet also the simple and user-friendly platform the company has developed, Stadlbauer said.
“The securing of the investments through encumbrances entered on the land register is also something that not many providers are able to offer,” Stadlbauer said.
Guido Sandler, a founder and member of the board of Bergfürst, said: “The participation of Commerz Real is pleasing acknowledgement of our achievements and underlines the quality of our platform.”
Sandler said the capital increase and the creation of joint structures will have a positive impact for the company on many levels.
”In addition to an expansion of the client network, Bergfürst also expects that the speed, number and volume per issue can be increased significantly in the short term.
“Furthermore, we are profiting from the expertise of the leading asset manager in the real estate sector and naturally this cooperation will also foster greater trust with a view to our acquisition of new clients.”