Fundrise raises $31M to become one of industry’s richest startups

Real estate crowdfunding website backed by Silverstein Properties execs, Ackman-Ziff

TRD New York /
May.May 28, 2014 03:30 PM

Fundrise received more than $31 million in its first substantial capital raising, the real estate crowdfunding website announced last night. Silverstein Properties’ chief executive Martin Burger and chief investment officer Tal Kerret, along with Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, are among the investors in the Series A round. The $31 million in capital positions Fundrise as one of the industry’s most well-funded startups.

“This raise represents Wall Street’s and commercial real estate’s embrace of crowdfunding as the future of real estate finance and investment,” said CEO Benjamin Miller, who co-founded Fundrise in 2012 with his brother Daniel Miller. The company allows both accredited and unaccredited investors to invest in projects, and helps developers raise funds and build community support for projects through an online platform.

Other crowd funding players active in New York include Realty Mogul and Prodigy Network.

New York City is Fundrise’s biggest market, Miller said, and developers such as Twining Properties, Corigin and David Belt’s Macro Sea Development have used the service. Fundrise makes its money through a combination of listing, subscription and service fees from developers.

The $31 million figure eclipses that raised by other high-profile startups, such as Urban Compass, which secured a $20 million investment in September, and View the Space, which raised $7 million in December.

The Real Deal named the company one of the real estate industry’s hot new startups in October.

“Fundrise represents the best of real estate innovation, expanding access to real estate investment while improving capital flows for quality real estate companies around the country,” Kerret, who is also Larry Silverstein’s son-in-law, said in a release.

Chinese social networking company Renren, startup investor Collaborative Fund and former Loopnet CEO Rich Boyle also invested in the company in this fundraising round.

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