Revolutionising investment of real-economy assets: Interview with Ilia Obraztcov, CEO of Definder
By Joy Dumasia
Ilia Obraztcov is the CEO of Definder, an international group of companies that leverages blockchain-based tokenization to unlock liquidity for asset owners and opportunities for investors, building the future of decentralized finance in Europe and beyond. The company’s mission is to democratize how the world invests in real-economy assets. Definder, previously known as Smartlands, launched their first STO in 2019 and closed the sale of security tokens in a student accommodation block in Nottingham, UK, and has since then made substantial progress in launching a scalable international tokenization business, having inlined the strategy, the legal framework, and the technology itself.
- Could you give us an overview of Definder service offerings and its client base?
To put it simply, we provide liquidity for asset owners and opportunities for investors worldwide. Our business clients like owners of profitable real estate, small and medium businesses, and some other lucrative categories can list their assets to raise capital for their further growth, and retail investors are welcome to become fractional owners of these assets that will generate their passive income.
- What are the opportunities of fractional investing in the tokenization of real estate for individuals? According to you, what are the ways to invest in real estate for those, not in a financial position to purchase entire properties?
Our platform is designed to benefit individual investors; it’s meant for people who would like to make their own financial decisions and make their investments the way it suits them, with the amount of investment starting from a very low threshold of 500USD and whenever they are willing to invest. Anyone can choose a profitable listing and become an owner of as much as a couple of square meters of an office space or a tiny share of a company and receive the rent from it. To make the investment process even more beneficial for potential investors, we do not apply charges for investment transactions as our business model is based on the fees for asset owners.
- What are the investing ideas for Gen Zs and millennials and methods to follow for the long term?
First of all, we are going to offer a new investment tool for Gen Zs and millennials. At the moment, all that market has to offer is a traditional way with many intermediaries, boring paperwork, high fees, and low returns. And we would like to provide a more straightforward process where anyone can access and invest in any of our listings after simple digital registration and identity verification. We start with the categories and regionality of businesses that are a gold mine in terms of growth investment opportunities and will provide additional passive income opportunities for crypto enthusiasts as well.
- The process of tokenization of real estate and its involvement/impact on the Blockchain, FinTech and WealthTech Industry?
Blockchain makes tokenization possible and eliminates all trust issues related to the register of security token owners, as a blockchain-based register cannot be corrupted. It also allows us to offer a borderless investment tool so that investors from different countries won’t be held back with their local offers. And by simplifying all awkwardness and bureaucracy of the financial services, tokenization will have a positive impact on the wealth industry in general. I could compare it to the changes that we experienced with the introduction of the email.
- What is in the pipeline for 2022?
We only plan to start the operations this year, but the process of assets onboarding was initiated a year ago. We collected a substantial number of lucrative assets to the day. We work with such profitable categories as real estate, SMEs, and IT-sector, and we observe a lot of interest from them. In the next stage, we will also add agricultural assets and art. Our long-term goal is to tokenize $1tn worth of assets, and the result of this year will show how quickly we can do it.
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