Property investment company Cogress is planning to launch a new loan on the platform in the next six to eight weeks after stopping all new lending during the Covid-19 crisis.
In the past few months, the firm which raises money through mezzanine debt, private equity and hotel investment, has been managing its portfolio of more than 60 live deals.
“We took the decision to not do anything for a few months to understand what was going on and where the market was going and how stable it was,” said Tal Orly (pictured), chief executive of Cogress.
“We couldn’t predict what would happen during these times and now we’re starting to explore and after three months of almost nothing, we are looking for opportunities.
“This is a time where investors can benefit from opportunities and investor appetite is slowly returning. There is less liquidity in the market, so our money is welcomed by developers because the market went through a correction.
“We are going to make a huge jump in the next 12 to 18 months, allowing more investors to participate in opportunity and let their money work for them. Once we have confidence everything is stable again, we’ll start to explore other areas.”
Orly was optimistic about the future of the property market, claiming it will eventually pick up with the demand and fundamentals remaining the same.
“Our core business was and will remain residential,” he said.
“I believe the residential market will pick up, the rate at which I don’t know but eventually it will come back because people need to buy and rent homes.”
In December Cogress shifted its focus from development lending to a variety of different partnerships and geographies to cater for Brexit uncertainty among investors.
For example, in October the firm entered an £80m partnership with Latin-American hospitality chain Selina.
Orly said with partnerships such as this, Cogress is well placed to return in a strong position.
“We are assessing everything and in a few months the market will return to normal and once it does, we can enjoy the opportunity from these good partnerships,” he said.
Cogress has not been accepting new money into its Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) since the Financial Conduct Authority banned the mass-marketing of mini-bonds to retail investors.
In November last year, the City regulator announced that mini-bond providers will only be able to market their products to sophisticated and high-net-worth clients, effective from the start of 2020.
Cogress has been managing deals for its IFISA and in is the process of changing its structure to be able to offer the ISA for new investments in four to five months’ time.
“We consider ourselves to be a very thorough and diligent company and can definitely offer a widespread opportunity to our investors with different levels of risk,” Orly said.