Celebrating Innovation: AcreageWay

Canadian Innovation Week is a 5-day celebration recognizing and supporting Canadian innovators and innovations that are changing the world one idea at a time. To celebrate, Spark Centre is sharing stories about our innovative clients, like AcreageWay, whose ingenuity has changed investment in real estate.
Spark Centre sat down with co-founders of AcreageWay, Aditya Koparde and Shaily Srivastava, to learn more about how their one-of-a-kind blockchain platform grew from an idea to a new way for Canadians to invest in real estate and what we can expect from this innovative startup in the future.

 
Q: What is AcreageWay?

SHAILY:  AcreageWay is a unique form of ownership that’s bridging the gap between working-class Canadians and opportunities for investment by raising them to the same level as the ‘big pocket’ and institutional investors, allowing them to invest in real estate similar to how they can with stocks and funds. The platform utilizes bulletproof technology and AI to tokenize traditional real estate assets, enabling anyone to diversify real estate portfolios, mitigate risk and have access to real estate deals without the need for significant capital outlays and, for sole investors, without the need for a mortgage nor having to become a landlord. It provides Canadians with a micro-investment strategy — as low as one token worth $1000 — that can be spread over multiple properties. By breaking down investment into small pieces, AcreageWay allows small-to-medium-sized investors to choose how much to invest and when without the need for proof of funding or credit scores. It also provides short-term investment portfolios — as short as three months — with higher and faster ROI than what flips and new builds can offer in the long term.

ADITYA: AcreageWay is a digital EMD (Exempt Market Dealer). It ensures that each client’s personal, financial and investment profile is understood and confirmed before any trading activity and offers a public and decentralized way to store land records and titles to avoid any misrepresentation or fraud. Connecting all players in one unified, transparent and secure ecosystem, AcreageWay secures and stores all transactions so that its contracts cannot be tampered with. Its smart contracts eliminate the hassle of excessive manual paperwork and go-betweens concerning the instant trading of assets.

Q: What inspired AcreageWay?

ADITYA: For the average, hardworking Ontarian, opportunities for commercial real estate investment have always been limited due to the requirement of extensive capital outlays, a cap on how little dollars can be invested, no short-term exit strategies and more, reserving these types of opportunities for only those investors with deep pockets.

On a personal level, as the co-founder of a real estate venture, my desire to generate short and long-term ROI on property investments was met by several hurdles that drove my margins down. The need to take out loans with banks or B Lenders took a big chunk of profits, and the lengthy approval process, complex contracts and multiple go-betweens required a lot of time and energy. I wanted a more efficient way for others, like me, to increase profitability and have the ability to expand.

SHAILY: For me, AcreageWay was inspired by my realization that real estate investment is a luxury for most people, and many miss out on growing their wealth long-term. Regular people don’t get the option to invest nor participate in worthwhile projects like affordable housing, old age homes and community developments because they’re seen as high risk, and these projects are pegged as low ROI. I’ve always wanted to break this barrier and make social projects affordable and accessible to everyone so that they can participate and own community developments together. Giving this power to all people was the vision behind and reason for building AcreageWay.  

Q: So, how did AcreageWay come to be?

SHAILY: Aditya and I met when we did our MBAs together in 2017. Aditya had Real Estate and a project management background, and I had technology expertise and our skillsets and knowledge meshed well together. The idea for AcreageWay originated through a discussion over lunch one day, which led to the platform being created out of my basement in March 2018, and it was full steam ahead from there.

“With AcreageWay, investing in commercial real estate has finally become a level playing field, creating new investment opportunities that, for so many people, for so many years, were only a dream.”

 
Q: What challenges did you face as a startup with a blockchain platform that was positioned to disrupt the commercial real estate industry?

ADITYA: AcreageWay’s concept is unique, so we faced a lot of resistance and hesitation from investors and potential clients. So we had to take it slow and steady and spend our time and focus on creating credibility within the market. Instead of following the traditional hockey stick approach, we focused on building trust with the market.

Q: How did your relationship with Spark Centre help you on your startup journey with AcreageWay?

SHAILY: AcreageWay joined Spark Centre at the very early stage when the idea for AcreageWay was still in the conception stage. Spark Centre provided the infrastructure needed to help us grow from concept to execution. Through Spark Centre, we received assistance from mentors with expertise in sales, marketing, financial planning, and more, and they helped AcreageWay grow into a complete corporation.

Q: AcreageWay has made leaps and bounds since then. What are just some of the company’s achievements?

ADITYA: AcreageWay is now a fully regulated platform in fintech and licensed in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. We also have signed contracts for more than $30M with over 1200 full investors in the database. With AcreageWay, investing in commercial real estate has finally become a level playing field, creating new investment opportunities that, for so many people, for so many years, were only a dream.

Q: What’s next for AcreageWay?

SHAILY: We’re just getting started. This year [2022], AcreageWay will be expanding its license throughout all of Canada, and we’ll be focused on creating an exchange to bring liquidity to traditional non-liquid assets.

Q: What is one piece of advice that you have for startups and entrepreneurs?

SHAILY: Follow your dream and stay focused on your goal. Perseverance is the key to entrepreneur success. Also, listen to the advice you’re given but do what you feel is right for your business.

For more information on AcreageWay visit https://acreageway.com/
***

Leave a Reply

Peter Crouse

Franchising

Peter Crouse bio coming soon.

Dave Miller

Software Technology

Dave Miller bio coming soon.