Cadre, a real estate finance startup backed by Joshua and Jared Kushner, hired former Starwood Capital Group exec Marcos Alvarado as its new head of acquisitions. The young company has raised $68 million in venture funding and seeks to upend the secretive institutional real estate investment market.
Cadre, founded by the Kushner brothers and Blackstone Group alum Ryan Williams last year, is an investment platform that lets institutions review and directly invest in commercial real estate online. Alvarado will head the startup’s investment team, which sources and vets the deals that land on its website. Cadre also invests along with its users, CEO Ryan Williams told The Real Deal. About half of the company’s 40 employees work on acquisitions.
Michael Fascitelli, former CEO of Vornado Realty Trust and founder of real estate investment firm Imperial Companies, sits on Cadre’s investment committee. In January, the firm raised $50 million from Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital, Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Goldman Sachs and other investors in a Series B round.
“I think that our platform and company is unique and naturally attracts people who are looking to be unconventional,” Williams said of Alvarado’s hire. Williams declined to discuss how many deals Cadre has done so far, or even name one specific deal — all he said was Cadre has closed over $200 million in deals this year. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Cadre had bought a stake in an office building in Greenwich, Conn.
At Barry Sternlicht’s fund manager Starwood, Alvarado had a hand in several major real estate deals, including the $68 million acquisition of a library branch at 20 West 53rd Street that later became the Baccarat Hotel & Residences. Prior to his stint at Starwood, Alvarado worked at investment bank Lehman Brothers. “For a guy that age, he has a lot of responsibility,” Tribeca Associates’ Bill Brodsky told The Real Deal in 2012.
In a statement, Alvarado told TRD that Cadre has the “potential to massively shift the market.” The firm is one of a handful of startups looking to transform real estate finance, along with crowdfunding companies like Fundrise or Prodigy Network and investment platform LendingHome.
Investors provided $1.5 billion to real estate tech startups in 2015, according to venture capital database CB Insights, a 36 percent year-over-year increase from $1.1 billion in 2014. But this year, things have dried up considerably: Fewer startups are sprouting up and less money is being thrown at them.