Singapore-based blockchain startup FundPlaces has raised a S$2 million (US$1.5 million) investment from SGX-listed Global Yellow Pages (GYP), which recently ceased its print directories business and shifted focus to its real estate arm.

The deal will see GYP’s wholly-owned subsidiary FP Network (FPN) take a 50.11 per cent stake in FundPlaces.

FundPlaces was co-founded by Brian Wee, who saw an opportunity to disrupt the real estate investment sector with blockchain technology, a cryptography-powered open distributed ledger system.

“We started FundPlaces to democratise real estate investments. With this in mind, we built the entire platform called the FundPlaces Distributed Asset Ledger, or ‘FuDAL’, has been built on a permissioned blockchain that allows participants to issue their own assets, distribute returns, trade automatically and redeem assets,” Wee told e27.

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“Each asset has a voting mechanism so that owners can make decisions regarding their investment with critical information being recorded on the immutable blockchain. It has been set up such that it is flexible enough for 3rd parties to plug into FuDAL. This will help us to drive future expansion of the business overseas.”

Investors can build their investment portfolio starting from S$1,000 (US$750), a figure that is significantly lower than traditional real estate investment partnerships. FundPlaces claim that its subscribers have earned annual returns of about 12 per cent.

Other advantages FundPlaces provide are flexibility of trades as well as diversity of investments.

“Real estate investments are typically illiquid with long holding period. With our platform, our members can trade in and out of their investments. [In addition], our members can invest in both completed properties as well as development projects,” he said.

With GYP’s fresh injection of funding, FundPlaces will be able to accelerate its expansion into markets including New Zealand and Singapore, as well as strengthen its presence in UK and Australia; GYP will leverage the startup’s platform to raise funding for its property development projects.

This year, FundPlaces also aims to triple transaction volume on the platform, grow its membership base, expand its team, improve user experience and develop a mobile app.

Image Credit: FundPlaces