Focusing on the core and preparing for more
As we reflect on the past three months, we are quite proud of the progress we have made towards our vision of making Real Estate investments digital, accessible, liquid and borderless, for the first time in history. With the successful execution of our pioneering first ‘Exit window’ back in May — our response to the #1 request from our community, for investment liquidity — we’ve been carefully studying the data, digesting user feedback from interviews and surveys, enhancing our platform operations based on the first experience, and preparing for our next window in November.
We have also been laying the foundations for our international expansion in Saudi Arabia, a huge upcoming leap in our goal of enabling our investors to build a cross-border international real estate portfolio and liquidate their investments whenever they need to, all from the comfort of their phone.
Beyond progressing on these 2 objectives behind the scenes, which we internally refer to as our ‘2 big rocks’, we have used Q3 to carve out time to discover, design and release some significant enhancements to our current product and investment experience, while adding critical depth to some of our key features. We won’t cover everything but we would like to expand on some of the releases we believe will be most important to you and your day to day experience with Stake.
Key Achievements & Highlights
- Ownership and empowerment: Transparency and trust are paramount in the world of digital investing and wealth management. We worked with several cohorts of our investor base, through interviews and surveys, to understand how we can provide additional layers of trust and safety in our user experience. This has evolved into a long term initiative for all of us at Stake but we’ve started by adding all your ownership documents to your portfolio! Investors can now access their Share certificates and title deeds directly from their investment details page on our mobile app. Keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we add in a direct link from this new documents section the SPV register with your name on it, in the DIFC public registrar!
- Additional portfolio enhancements: Portfolio is the central feature in our mobile app, where our users can manage their investments and track their financial growth. We’re exploring a ton of ideas around adding more depth and data to this experience, and we started this quarter by restricting how your Stakes are presented, moving them into 1 list, which now includes real time status updates (e.g. “93% funded”, “Document issued”, “Rent earned: AED x”, etc.) and property filtering (highly requested from our user base!). We have also re-designed our investment details page to group investments made on the primary market and exit windows, for a better user experience and easier access to historical property transaction data, which is now attached to each investment detail page.
- Enhanced user support: We get hundreds of questions daily from users all over the world, and as our community grows, so does our commitment to providing unparalleled customer support. In the last few months we have built a dedicated Customer Experience team, rolled out more and more contact options and entry points for our users to connect with Customer support at Stake! On top of this we have added extended support hours, more support days, a user-friendly help center, and quicker response times, we’re making sure you always have the information and assistance you need. Keep an eye out for even more contact options over the next few months!
- Reimagining your payments and checkout experience: Investing on Stake should be hassle-free and, based your feedback, we’ve added more than a few optimisations to our payment and checkout processes this quarter. Now, applying your wallet balance is more straightforward than ever, with our ‘Pay the difference’ feature. You can directly apply your wallet balance at checkout by simply using the Wallet toggle, alongside your chosen payment method. This eliminates the need for separate transactions and lets you apply rental payments and rewards to larger investments. We have also significantly improved your Stake Wallet experience. We’ve added more international display currencies, beyond our native AED currency, for easier understanding and integrated with a new payments platform to improve our international deposit & withdrawal process, and lock in better FX rates for our users. This is a critical area that we will always be focused on optimising and improving for you. Additionally, we’ve added filters to your transactions list (a heavily requested improvement!), making it easier to track your investment history, rental payments, and incoming vs. outgoing transactions.
- Enhancing the Rewards experience and expanding ways to earn: One of our core guiding principles is to empower our investors to build wealth through Real estate, and to accentuate that, we started thinking of more ways to reward our investors, and to make growing your passive income on Stake fun. In order to explore this are we first had to address our referrals mechanic from the perspective of the referred new user, moving to a new process that is much more technically robust and will eliminate the occasional issues we had with attributing a small percentage of your referrals. With a more robust mechanic in place we kick started what will be a multi month effort of brining a new Rewards experience to our app. At the end of September we introduced a more playful and engaging Rewards design, which lays the foundation for even more playful and engaging optimisations over the next few months. But that’s not all. To foster a sense of community and advocacy among our investors, we’ve introduced the ‘Share on Social’ feature on both your portfolio page and investment receipt screen. This allows you to champion the concept of passive income and celebrate your investment milestones with friends and family across various social platforms, ranging from Instagram Stories to the classic Whatsapp group share. Pro tip – don’t forget to embed your referral link when you share, to unlock even more rewards to invest on Stake!
User Growth & Milestones
We’re proud to report an addition of 116,220 new users this quarter, a testament to our growing appeal and the trust our community places in us. Our Assets Under Management (AUM) grew by 14.5% quarter on quarter (from Q2 to Q3), and we successfully funded 23 properties, a 130% increase compared to Q3 last year – making it even faster for us to fund your investments and start paying you passive income! A significant highlight for us personally was the funding of our 100th property on August 8th — a milestone we’re incredibly proud of.
Our sights are always set on the future, and it’s looking brighter than ever. As we prepare for our second Exit Window in November, our teams are working tirelessly to ensure a seamless experience, which captures all of the feedback your provided on our first iteration back in May. We’re also highly focused on expanding our business into Saudi Arabia, a significant step in our journey to making digital real estate investing borderless. With regulatory approval from the Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in place, we’re gearing up to introduce real estate fund products to our international investor base, in a country that boasted 8.7% GDP growth in 2022, the most of any G20 economy. On top of these exciting advancements we will of course continue to iteratively improve the Stake mobile experience, based on your feedback and requests. As of today, our Product teams are working away on a refreshed version of our Portfolio and Properties pages. Expect some exciting new updates very soon!
Your feedback is the cornerstone of our growth. We urge you to email us at email@example.com to book a personal user interview, or reach out to us via the Chat feature on our website, or the Profile section of your account. Our dedicated Product and Client Experience teams are always eager to assist and guide you.
In closing, this quarter has been monumental for Stake. As we continue to push boundaries, innovate, and evolve, our mission remains clear: to build you a product that makes real estate investing digital, accessible, liquid and borderless, for the first time in history. Here’s to the future, and to many more milestones together.
Finn Hefferon | Head of Product