Fundrise is one of the leasing real estate crowdsourcing platforms that has raised over $40 million to date in 2020.
Since its founding in 2012, Fundrise has not only raised money from Venture Capital funds, they’ve also raised funds directly from its platform investors through a process they call an Internet Public Offering.
They figured, if they are helping real estate sponsors raise money to invest in their deals, why not use their platform to raise money to fund and grow their own company as well.
For example, on Feb 1, 2017, Fundrise decided to do an “Internet Public Offering” directly to its customer base. The idea was to get rid of the middle men (investment banker) to save on fees for everybody.
After all, Fundrise’s philosophy is to get rid of barriers to entry for those who want to invest in real estate but don’t have the know-how or capital to do it on their own. The company has been focused on the first-ever online real estate investment trusts (eREITs).
Their “IPO” was met with tremendous reception. More than 2,300 Fundrise members — including investors across all 50 states — participated in the internet public offering, according to the company. Investment orders reached $14.6 million.
Investors had to purchase at least 200 shares — or $1,000 — to participate in the offer. And only existing investors with Fundrise could get in on the action. It’s unclear exactly how much equity stake $1,000 actually gets. One can make a best guess estimate that based on the amount raised so far and the stage, Fundrise is valued somewhere between $80M – $200M before this Internet Public Offering.
Then in 2Q2019, Fundrise did another Internet Public Offering to similar success.
If you believe in the real estate crowdfunding model, as I do, then you must also believe that with proper execution, Fundrise should continue to do more deals, grow more revenue and profits, and ultimately grow its valuation.
It’s important to always only invest in what you can afford to lose. Investing in private equity is illiquid, and can often takes 5 – 10 years for anything to emerge, if at all.
It’s my personal opinion that investors should keep private investments to no more than 10% of one’s investable assets e.g. $10,000 in private equity if you have $100,000 in investable assets. Although real estate crowdfunding seems like a long-term winner due to deregulation, the space is still relatively new.
Making individual private equity investments is extremely risky. But if a private equity investment can hit, you may be handsomely rewarded. I personally no longer invest in individual private equity investments. However, I do invest in a venture capital fund run by Kleiner Perkins.
Here’s some more information about Fundrise so you can make the best decision possible whether to invest in Fundrise the company, or the real estate crowdsourced deals on Fundrise’s platform. I prefer inesting on the platform.
Fundrise Company Update 2020
Total Equity Funding: $41+ million
Headquarters: Washington DC.
Description: Fundrise is the leading online real estate investment crowdfunding platform. Starting in 2012, Fundrise was the first company to take commercial real estate public online and offer true equity ownership in local properties.
Founders: Brandon Jenkins, Benjamin Miller, Kenny Shin
Categories: Real Estate Investment, Crowdfunding, Financial Services
Founded: January, 2011, Seed funding in 2011
Sign up link: Fundrise
Latest Fundrise Assets Under Management And Performance
According to the latest public offering documents by Fundrise for its IPO, the firm manages roughly $488 million in assets under management, has 63,271 active investors, and 76 employees. Their AUM grow and investor signups have been very promising.
Fundrise’s five-year average platform portfolio has also done quite well, yielding a 10.79% return versus 7.92% for the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF and 7.4% for the Vanguard Real Estate ETF.
Fundrise is the leading online real estate investment crowdfunding platform. Starting in 2012, Fundrise was the first company to take commercial real estate public online and offer true equity ownership in local properties.
Comprehensive Fundrise review here.
Fundrise Funding History Details
Fundrise Management Team
Real Estate Crowdsource Investing
One of the most efficient ways to invest in real estate around the country is through real estate crowdsourcing. Instead of flying around the country to kick some sheetrock, one can simply invest as little as $1,000 – $5,000 in various pre-vetted deals on Fundrise’s great platform. Fundrise only chooses the best operators. From there, the individual can analyze each potential deal.
What’s awesome about Fundrise is that it has easy eREITs to invest in. Each eREIT (West, Midland, East Coast, Growth, Income) is open for all investors where there is supply. An investor can simply ride the geographic/strategic decisions the eREIT manager chooses to make a potentially healthy 8% – 16% return based on historical performance.
Here are three examples of Fundrise’s eREITs. I’m partial to the Heartland eREIT due to the new administration that’s focused on bringing jobs back to middle America.
Real Estate Versus Equities Performance
The following chart compares the performance between real estate and the S&P 500. I’m surprised to see such massive outperformance by the FTSE NAREIT ALL REITs asset class. But I guess it makes sense because after the NASDAQ bubble burst in March 2000, real estate started taking off partly because the Fed aggressively lowered interest rates, and partly because equity investors looked at hard assets to park their money.
I’m in the camp that interest rates will stay lower for longer. Australia has now joined Japan, Denmark, and Sweden with negative real interest rates by the way. I’m also looking for yield as a retiree. As a result, I continue to see real estate as an attractive long-term asset class.
Here’s another chart highlighting Fundrise’s 2015 returns versus the S&P 500, NAREIT Composite Index, and NASDAQ. With my personal investment return goal of 3X the risk-free rate of return (10-year bond yield), anything above 6% looks attractive, depending on risk.
The approximate 13% net average annual return for 2015 is representative of the aggregate historical operating results from 2015 for 43 individual investments offered under Reg D. Their eREIT model gives all investors access to a diversified pool of quality commercial real estate. In their first full quarter of operations the Income eREIT earned an approximate 9.7%.
They’ve made investments in commercial real estate projects all across the US. To date they’ve been most active in the New York, Los Angeles, DC, Seattle, Atlanta, and Phoenix markets. I’m glad, because I’m looking at areas outside of San Francisco to invest.
Real Estate Investing Sweet Spot
Historically, there’s data that shows investors with roughly 20% allocated to real estate have outperformed those who only own stocks and bonds. The 20% real estate model was made famous by the ~$25B Yale Endowment, which outperformed traditional allocations 22.6% annually for decades by investing at least 20% of its portfolio in real estate.
However, in the past, the best private real estate opportunities require minimums of $100,000 or more, making them inaccessible unless you’re very wealthy. The only other option is to go through middlemen who charge high fees, thereby negatively impacting returns. This is where Fundrise and their technology comes in because their investment minimum can be as low as $1,000 for some deals.
Below is a chart highlighting the different sized real estate markets. You and I can’t buy trophy properties like the Empire State Building because these properties are just too large and expensive. You and I can buy fixer uppers to make some sweat equity. I did so in 2014 and am still working on my house slowly today.
But fixers can be risky and stressful if you don’t know what you’re doing. So it seems like the Midsize market is the sweet spot for investing given less competition, a more inefficient market to exploit, and potentially higher risk-adjusted returns. This is where the real estate crowdsourcing industry currently operates.
Diversify Your Investments
Everybody should seek to own their primary residence to get neutral inflation. After that, consider investing in stocks, bonds, and real estate crowdsourcing investments through a company like Fundrise. They’ve opened up new opportunities for everyday investors to gain access to properties they otherwise would not have access to in the past.
Low interest rates are here to stay for likely the rest of our working lifetimes. It’s therefore best to invest in income producing assets because not only will they provide a higher income stream, they’ll also attract more demand, thereby boosting the principal value of your income investment.
I’d particularly focus on the Heartland eREIT for the following reasons:
- A Republican president will give back to the people who got him there through the theme, “Hire American, Buy American.”
- There will be a net migration out of Blue states into Red states as more people realize it’s a great deal living in Texas if you can get 3X as much for 1/3rd the price.
- As our country gets older, more retirees will move out of Blue states to stretch their retirement dollar.
- The remote work trend will continue due to technology and a tight labor market.
- Sanctuary cities are at risk of seeing their federal funding pulled and reallocated to Red cities.
- Income growth should be higher in Red states due to demographic shifts.
- Now that investing in real estate is more efficient, Red State 10%+ cap rates compared to <4% cap rates in Blue cities are too hard to ignore. The spread should narrow.
- A potential expansion of who can invest in real estate crowdsourcing will lead to an increase in demand and prices.
- The rise of real estate crowdsourcing platforms increases the supply of capital, thereby increasing the demand and prices of previously hard to tap investments.
- The new tax plan for 2018 and beyond limits state income tax and property tax deduction to $10,000 and reduces the mortgage amount for interest deduction to $750,000, thereby hurting coastal city real estate, and benefitting heartland real estate.
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The information contained herein neither constitutes an offer for nor a solicitation of interest in any securities offering; however, if an indication of interest is provided, it may be withdrawn or revoked, without obligation or commitment of any kind prior to being accepted following the qualification or effectiveness of the applicable offering document, and any offer, solicitation or sale of any securities will be made only by means of an offering circular, private placement memorandum, or prospectus. No money or other consideration is hereby being solicited, and will not be accepted without such potential investor having been provided the applicable offering document. Joining the Fundrise Platform neither constitutes an indication of interest in any offering nor involves any obligation or commitment of any kind. The publicly filed offering circulars of the issuers sponsored by Rise Companies Corp., not all of which may be currently qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission, may be found at www.fundrise.com/oc.