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PODCAST: Listen To Bisnow's 'Let's Have A Drink' D.C. With Fundrise CEO Ben Miller

Bisnow has a new podcast series, "Let’s Have A Drink," where we sit down with the personalities who shape Washington, D.C., real estate — one of the most complex and affluent markets in the country.

Hosted by Bisnow East Coast Editor Ethan Rothstein, we examine the deals, the disappointments and, of course, drinks of choice. You can subscribe on iTunesSpotify or SoundCloud.

Fundrise CEO Ben Miller at a 2018 Bisnow event

In Episode 2, Bisnow sat down with Ben Miller, the CEO and co-founder of Fundrise, a real estate crowdfunding company. Miller co-founded the business with his brother and a few other colleagues in 2011, and it is now the market leader in the space, expecting to invest half a billion dollars in 2019 alone.

As is the case with many startups, Fundrise took years before it realized any success, but Miller — whose father, Herb Miller, is one of the D.C. region's preeminent urban developers — never gave up. But he came close.

"We had 175 investors and then we doubled and had 350 investors and we doubled and had 700 investors, and that was two years. And you think, ‘Oh, my God. This is hopeless,’" he said. "It wasn't until like maybe like a year or so ago where we started having tens of thousands of investors. That's when we started saying, ‘OK, wait a second.’"

This year, Fundrise expects to invest at least $500M into commercial real estate — all raised online directly from individuals. The crowdfunding hype has died down, but Fundrise is just getting started. 

"People don't think it matters. People think it's basically cutesy," he said. "And that's OK with me."

Listen below, and subscribe to hear more episodes.