Real Estate & Tech: RealtyShares Innovates Crowdfunding
Base of operations: San Francisco
Who’s in charge: CEO Nav Athwal
What it is: Crowdfunding venture financing platform
Raising more than $200M since its inception, RealtyShares has connected more than 25,000 accredited and institutional investors with pre-vetted real estate companies wanting to raise capital. It has helped provide funding for over 400 projects in 31 states. Last quarter, RealtyShares facilitated $43.6M in investments, its largest quarter yet. The firm also added 4,500 new investors last month.
RealtyShares recently closed a $30M line of credit through an institutional partner. The company can now pre-fund every debt deal and select equity investments before making them available to investors through its marketplace.
Earlier this year, the company raised $20M for a diversified equity fund for institutional investors that targets the underserved market of properties valued under $50M. The new fund will allow big-time investors to back small developments often passed over by investors even though the small deals have large returns.
Prospective investors can put in as little as $5k on a project and can pick from various options, including fix-and-flip loans, preferred equity and mezzanine products, JV equity and commercial loans. Properties that can apply for funding include multifamily, office, industrial, self-storage, retail and hospitality with a preference toward those near a large metropolitan area.
The company began as the brainchild of CEO Nav Athwal (shown above with VP of commercial equity Bryan Schultz). Long nights and weekends spent hashing out the company’s future turned into a burgeoning company with more than 40 employees.
(This profile is the first in a five-part series highlighting technology in commercial real estate.)