DirectHome Pte Ltd (‘DH’) is a Singapore incorporated company founded by Kiegan Chia. As an online property platform (www. directhome.com.sg), DH allows buyers and sellers of resale properties to transact without the necessity of real estate agents, at no or extremely low-costs. Notably, DH also facilitates lawful cash-backs to buyers (as reviewed by relevant authorities) who buy primary properties via DH. The cash-back arrangement is a novel and valuable feature that sets DH apart from its competitors.
In a short span of 2 years, DH boasts a user-base of approximately 125,000 people. More than S$350,000,000 of real estate has been transacted to date, with more than S$7,000,000 in savings gained by sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants (compared to incumbent fees charged elsewhere).
As part of its expansion plans, DH intends to issue DIREC tokens, a non-securitised cryptocurrency through an initial coin offering (‘ICO’). DIREC tokens are ERC20 compliant and managed by a token smart contract that is deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. DIREC tokens are a form of utility cryptocurrency that can be used to pay for services on DH’s web platform.
DH’s ICO is unlike many other ICOs because it is based on an already viable and profitable businesvs model. Unlike manyblockchain startups, DH already has an established business which goes beyond a vision and a roadmap. DH has succeeded because it reduces transaction and search costs for buyers and sellers and allows buyers of primary property to share some of the profits property developers earn.
While traditional property web-portals are agent and developercentric, DH is disruptive to existing incumbents because it puts ordinary buyers first, significantly reducing search-costs.
DH’s success has not gone unnoticed. Its shareholders include Wang Shuang (Vice Chairman and CEO of HNA Group (International) Company Limited) and Jin Chensu (MD, Cyrius International Pte Ltd). DH’s Advisors include Daniel Teo (Chairman, Hong How Group & former President of FIABCI and REDAS), Michael Chan (former MD, Bank of New York Mellon) and John Gaw (CEO, LandConsult & former Deputy Commissioner of Lands, Singapore Land Authority).
DH’s disruptive business model has been featured in nearly a dozen different news outlets. These include all of Singapore’s main newspapers, established regional news platforms and several business magazines and periodicals. These include Channel NewsAsia, Money Week, The Straits Times, CEAnergy, Asian Property Review, Berita Harian, Suria and Lianhe Zaobao.
DH’s business model is easily transportable globally and it sees its market as global, with immediate plans to facilitate low-cost, efficient transactions in Southeast Asia and Australasia before branching to the United States, the United Kingdom then to the rest of the world. DH will use the ICO proceeds to expand its scope of services via three milestones.