It appears that crowdfunding may just be the next big thing in real estate. Fundrise, a real estate crowdfunding site, announced that it has raised more than $31 million financing “from a consortium of real estate, technology, and financial institutions.”
According to Fundrise and its parent company, Rise Companies Corp., the financing round was led by Renren Inc. (RENN), Marty Burger and Tal Kerret, the CEO and CIO of Silverstein Properties, and the Collaborative Fund, among others.
“With this raise from established players, Fundrise intends to expand its offerings to institutional investors interested in direct exposure to world-class real estate,” the company announced. “Fundrise can now increase its presence in major U.S. cities so that every citizen can build a real estate portfolio and access diverse, high-yield real estate opportunities through a streamlined online platform.”
Earlier this month, HousingWire reported that crowdfunding, which is raising investment capital by asking for it via the internet, may be used to fund REO-to-rental holdings.
“We have seen crowdfunding sweep through large verticals of consumer finance, including student loans and credit card debt,” Joseph Chen, chairman and CEO of Renren said. “We believe that the real estate market is the newest frontier for crowd-based financing. We are extremely impressed with Fundrise's early lead in the space, their ability to tackle hard business problems and their commitment to expanding access to real estate investment to every investor.”
Fundrise allows investors of both high and low net worth to invest in properties for as little as $100 per share and as much as $10,000,000.
"This raise represents Wall Street’s and commercial real estate’s embrace of crowdfunding as the future of real estate finance and investment,” said Fundrise co-founder Ben Miller.
“Through Fundrise, we have brought previously inaccessible real estate offerings to a wider market, creating new opportunities for retail investors, institutional investors, and developers,” added Fundrise co-founder (and Ben’s brother) Daniel Miller. “More people are interested in investing locally and in real estate, and Fundrise brings technology and crowdfunding to bear on finance to allow them to do just that.”
The company says that it is raising nearly $1 million a week on its platform from more than 1,000 investors online. The site’s members have invested in 30 real estate deals in cities across the country, with Fundrise on track to bring new offerings to the platform in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. in 2014.