Groundfloor, the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate based payment dependent notes that are available to non-accredited investors, today announced it has raised a total of $4.3 million from 671 participating investors in a combination of two recent financings, a private online bridge note closed late last year and an initial closing of its online public offering of equity.
In each case, Groundfloor initially invited customers and friends of the company with a $1 million goal. After surpassing that in under 48 hours Groundfloor made the raise open to the public.
Although the macroeconomy is by most measures doing well, over the past few weeks the stock market has experienced volatility and continues to fluctuate. Recently increased expectations that the Fed may raise interest rates in the future has investors rebalancing their portfolios, with a shift out of equity into debt, as bond yields are expected to increase. Twelve-month bond yields have recently inched up to 1.97 per cent, a figure retail investors may consider low.
Groundfloor’s retail investors create their own portfolios of real estate debt investments in the fix and flip residential housing market, and the loans on which the investments are based are secured by a first lien position against the underlying real asset.
“Groundfloor’s vision to level the playing field of investing by opening private markets to the public is working,” said Brian Dally, co-founder and chief executive officer, Groundfloor. “Thousands of regular Americans have invested tens of millions of dollars in Groundfloor’s real estate loans and are making substantial returns. Now, true to our mission of providing access to everyone, we are thrilled to open up investment in Groundfloor itself as we grow the business.
“After all, why should VCs get all the upside?”
Groundfloor is offering a total of up to 530,000 shares of common stock at $10 per share in its online public offering. Investor benefits include: no investor fees for life; access to regular shareholder-only loan offerings; and invitations to attend annual Groundfloor shareholder events.
To date, Groundfloor has raised $7.6M in venture capital from leading fintech VCs and early stage investors including Fintech Ventures, former WorldPay USA chief executive Anthony Catalfano and Raleigh, NC-based MDO Ventures. The new round of funding, slated to total $7.05 million upon the successful completion of its online public offering, is already enabling the company to scale and continue to grow its sales and lending operations team so it can offer a greater number of loans, serve more customers and supply investors’ demands for high return investments.
Groundfloor specializes in lending for single-family or small multi-family home rehab and renovation loans and also provides access to short-term, high-yield returns with a minimum investment of as little as $10 with no fees or middlemen. Typical loans return six to 14 percent annually on a six to 12-month term.
To date, Groundfloor has originated more than 417 loans worth more than $54 million. Demand has been extremely strong and the loans regularly sell out in minutes. The number of investments on the platform grew by 100 per cent in 2017, from 25,602 in 2016 to 52,153 in 2017.