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Fundrise Launches $1B VC Fund, Sees Opportunity In Down Tech Market

Fundrise CEO Ben Miller at a 2018 Bisnow event

Fundrise, an early pioneer in the real estate crowdfunding space that has grown into a major investment platform, is entering the venture capital world with a new $1B fund.

The D.C.-based company plans to target small investors with a minimum investment requirement of $10 for its new growth equity fund, which will invest in late-stage tech startups, CEO Ben Miller told TechCrunch Monday

The real estate firm is moving into the tech sector now because VC investment into tech companies, including proptech startups, has lagged through the first half of the year, Miller said. The new fund will have a 1.85% flat management fee, far lower than the fees typically applied by venture capitalists.

“I do feel fortunate that the lapse in the tech market is going to create a better starting place for us," Miller told TechCrunch. "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to come in … if we had been trying to do this in 2021, we couldn’t have broken in [to the venture ecosystem]."

Since 2012, Fundrise has sought to bring investment in typically high-dollar real estate assets to a wider pool of potential investors. It manages more than $2.8B in real estate equity today and has 300,000 investors on its platform. 

Its real estate fund is up 5% this year, compared to the S&P 500 being down by roughly 20%. Fundrise has looked to high-growth opportunities in the real estate sector to keep up its momentum. 

Lately, that has meant industrial. The platform invested $130M into co-warehousing startup Saltbox earlier this year, and it has acquired industrial properties in low-vacancy areas like the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.