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On a “mission” to open up the exclusive world of alternatives and challenge the notion of ownership, the team at Ctrl Alt is shaking up the alternative investment universe by providing wider access to assets with a new app. The app, Ctrl Alt, launched on November 17 – and anyone can sign up.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Ctrl Alt CEO Matt Ong said: “The idea for Ctrl Alt came from the lived experience of always wanting to invest in or be able to buy outright, assets like property or even collectibles like watches.
“There are many others like me and particularly from the younger generation, who are attracted to the impressive investment profiles of alternative assets, especially when compared to what you could earn if you just left your money in a bank account.”
Mr Ong continued: “But these investment opportunities are not always accessible for a variety of reasons. You need a lot of money to invest and even more than that, you need the right contacts to access those investments.
“I’ve spent my career in the alternative assets space, creating financial products for the wealthiest in society and it was frustrating to see that there was nothing available for everyone else. Ctrl Alt was built to solve this problem and make accessing these kinds of investments simple and user-friendly.”
The free-to-use app allows users to access alternative assets, such as property, sustainability projects and more, by purchasing digital shares that have legal recourse to the underlying asset.
Mr Ong explained: “Traditionally, you would have needed a huge amount of capital to invest in alternative assets like art, luxury watches and even property, that most people don’t necessarily have.
“This has created a massive barrier to entry not only from the financial side but also the lack of conversation around alternatives because it’s been so unattainable. Most people don’t have any way of finding out about these kinds of investments and they are often only shown to small audiences, typically those with the capital to invest.”
According to Mr Ong, the Ctrl Alt platform enables multiple people to get together and invest in one – or more – of these assets, with as little as £10, in a “safe” and “secure” way.
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Mr Ong said: “We’ve created a marketplace to allow people to explore alternatives and invest in fractions of them. It is somewhat similar to what platforms like Crowdcube do – enabling people to own a share in a company. With us, people are getting to own a share linked to an asset.
The shares are represented as fungible tokens, meaning they are all equivalent and freely exchangeable for each other.
According to Ctrl Alt, the tokens are classified by the Financial Conduct Authority as Security Tokens and contain the same legal rights as a share.
Mr Ong continued: “We work with incredible asset partners who are experts in each type of asset, whether that is property or otherwise to bring the most exciting investment opportunities to our platform.”
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The platform launches with a holiday home-rental asset from their partner, The Tiny Housing Co, the developers of beautifully designed, eco-friendly, off-grid homes situated in the Peak District. The next asset to launch will be a sustainability project.
Mr Ong said: “This is something we’re all very passionate about; showing also the power of our technology to allow investments in alternatives that put people and the planet first.”
The project is said to be an innovative green energy solution that takes excess heat generated by data centres and puts it to good use by heating community swimming pools.
Mr Ong continued: “We are an asset-agnostic platform and ultimately what assets are available for people to invest in will be driven by the users themselves. We allow users to vote on what they want to see next and what they want to see more of.”
According to Ctrl Alt, only eligible UK investors can currently invest, but the app will soon be available to the rest of Europe “and beyond”.
Mr Ong said: “Ultimately, we want Ctrl Alt to be the go-to, user-friendly, accessible platform for alternative investing. We want to support investors – those at the start of their journey or those who are passionate about alternatives, but like me, couldn’t previously have access.”
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