What’s in it for Me? Real Estate Investment Technology

For those looking to diversify out of the stock market and into asset-backed or alternative investments, real estate has long been a popular choice. In 2014, things changed significantly for these investors; historically if they didn’t have $40,000 for a down payment on an investment property loan or $4 million to spend on commercial property development, they would be out of luck. Recently, however, we have seen successful startups looking to lower the barrier to entry for novice real estate investors.

Earlier this year, we examined the breakdown of proptech and where its four separate divisions fit into fintech. Today we’re taking a closer look at one of those categories, real estate investment technology, and 15 startups in that sector. Companies in this area are as diverse as the real estate industry itself, but they can easily be categorized under three major business models:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Cash flow share
  • Match-making platform

Here’s a quick comparison chart of companies working on crowdfunding and cash flow share models (right click to enlarge):

Here’s a more in-depth look at each company’s model:

Crowdfunding
Think of it as Kickstarter for Real Estate— it’s the most common model for real estate investment platforms. While many companies in this category take a different approach and host a variety of offerings, all rely on a crowdfunding model.

  • Cadre
    Cadre caters to a range of high net worth accredited investors and institutional investors who are willing to commit a minimum of six figures per deal. The company focuses on commercial, retail, and multifamily properties in all major U.S. markets. Cadre undertakes all sourcing and due diligence on properties before presenting the opportunities to investors. When users find a deal they like, they request their desired allocation to a specific property (or across multiple properties) and fund the deal. Investors receive quarterly distributions along with performance reports.
  • EquityMultiple
    EquityMultiple offers accredited investors debt and equity investments in commercial real estate projects. The company has raised $10 million since launching in 2015. Its partnership with Mission Capital – a national loan sales and commercial real estate advisory firm – has helped it access institutional projects, closing 25 and comprising over $300 million in total capitalization since launch. Its debt deals range from six to 18 months while the term for equity projects ranges from two to five years, during which time investors receive a share of the cash flow.
  • Fundrise
    Fundrise allows users to build a diversified portfolio of eREITs, a real estate investment trust built on the Fundrise platform that cuts out the middlemen often involved in traditional REITs. The REIT consists of commercial real estate investments and earns returns through rental income and property appreciation. Investors start with a minimum of $1,000 and select from three different U.S. geographies. Returns and distributions are specific to each listing, as is the term of each investment.
  • Groundfloor
    Groundfloor is open to accredited and non-accredited investors in eight U.S. states. The company sells debt securities called Limited Resource Obligations (LROs) to investors with a minimum investment of $10. Once investors purchase an LRO, they become a creditor to Groundfloor. Each LRO is paid back to investors when the borrower repays the loan, which ranges from a term of 6 to 12 months. If a loan fails to fully fund within 45 days, the company relinquishes the funds back to the investor.
  • LendingHome
    Lending Home is open to accredited investors looking to fund real estate investment projects for a term of 12 months or less. The company funds mortgages for real estate professionals and makes them available to investors as fractional notes. Each note sells for as low as $5,000, but LendingHome requires a $50,000 minimum investment to start. Lenders receive interest on a monthly basis and when borrowers repay the loan at the end of the 12-month term, the investor receives their principal.
  • Patch of Land (FF 2014 demo)
    Patch of Land uses a crowdfunded approach by matching borrowers in need of short term financing for a real estate project, with lenders looking for real estate investment opportunities. The company vets each property purchase and project (refinance, rehab, or flip) and curates information such as financials, appraisals, and project details. Under Patch of Land’s model the investor doesn’t own the property nor the title. Instead, users invest in a borrower payment dependent note– a contract with Patch of Land in which they receive interest for the term of the loan and then repayment of their principal once the term is complete.
  • PeerStreet
    PeerStreet enables accredited and institutional investors to invest in private real estate loans secured by first liens on real estate (in other words, not refinances or second mortgages) through partnerships with top-tier originators. The investments are short term, ranging from six to 24 months and are intended to fund a real estate project. Investor funds are held in an Investors Trust Account with City National Bank and in the event of default, the funds are FDIC insured up to $250,000. Users invest in mortgage-dependent promissory notes issued by PeerStreet. The minimum investment is $1,000.
  • RealtyMogul (FS 2014 demo)
    Founded in 2012, RealtyMogul operates under a crowdfunding model that matches sponsors and borrowers searching for capital with individual investors looking for a higher return. The company offers two investment types: joint venture equity investments, and a real estate investment trust (REIT).Joint venture equity investments focus on properties with existing cash flows (rented real estate). Throughout the term of the investment, which ranges from one to 10 years, investors receive a monthly return from the cash flow and a share of the proceeds when the property is sold. RealtyMogul offers a 1031 exchange option for investors for a tax-friendly funding option. The MogulREIT is an SEC-registered LLC formed to invest in and manage a diversified portfolio. The REIT requires a minimum investment of $1,000 and is open to both accredited and non-accredited investors and is generally more liquid than debt and equity funding, as it generally allows for redemptions once per quarter.
  • RealtyShares
    RealtyShares offers a minimum investment of $5,000 with monthly or quarterly cash flow options. The company enables accredited and institutional investors to invest in commercial (office, industrial, self-storage, retail, medical office and hospitality facilities) and residential (used for investment purposes, not owner-occupied) properties. RealtyShares sells securities related to secured real estate loans, equity investments in commercial properties, and preferred equity investments based on investor preferences. With equity investments, the company sets up individual LLCs for each property. Under this structure, investors own shares in the LLC. Interest distributions for equity investments are paid out on a quarterly basis depending on cash flow. When the property is sold, investors receive any appreciation realized over the term of the loan. For debt and preferred equity investments, users invest in notes corresponding to the loan and typically receive payouts monthly. The company does not offer a 1031 exchange but it does offer self-directed IRA investments through five preferred custodians.
  • Yield Street
    Yield Street sells a variety of asset-backed offerings– from real estate, to commercial equipment, to lawsuits– to help accredited investors diversify their portfolios. The company is also set up to handle larger opportunities for money managers and institutional investors. Yield Street manages the investments, which are divided into Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV’s) available for a minimum of $5,000. Interest payment frequency and the term of the loan vary per investment.

Cash flow share
These companies offer investors returns on the cash flow of the property. They do not cater to borrowers and instead own the properties themselves.

  • CK Mack (FF 2012 demo)
    CK Mack is a Montana-based startup that allows users to invest in the cash flow of rented real estate in $25 increments for a minimum of 12 months. The company maintains ownership and responsibility for the properties themselves and takes care of all property management responsibilities.
  • Brickx
    Australia-based Brickx divides the purchase price of houses into 10,000 units, or bricks, and places each unit for sale on its marketplace. At the end of each month, members receive their share of the net rental income of the house. Brickx takes care of all property management.

Match-making platform
These are Lendio-type platforms that simply serve as a matchmaking platform for borrowers and investors. They are not a party to the transaction.

  • CrediFi
    CrediFi offers a platform that matches borrowers, brokers, and lenders. The company does not invest on the users’ behalf.
  • Crowd Street
    Crowd Street hosts a marketplace that matches accredited commercial real estate investors with borrowers, which the company refers to as sponsors. It was created to offer investors easy access to private equity real estate operators, such as commercial real estate developers and managers.
  • RealCrowd
    RealCrowd allows accredited investors to browse, compare, and invest with professional, private, commercial real estate companies. The platform simply serves as a matchmaker for investors and real estate professionals and is not involved in the transaction.

Our proptech series continues next week with a closer look at mortgagetech players.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Coca-Cola Credit Union Chooses Bankjoy as New Mobile Banking Partner.
  • What’s in it for Me? Real Estate Investment Technology: A comparison of Realty Mogul, CK Mack, Patch of Land, and other real estate investment platforms.

Around the web

  • GMC Software announces new partner advantage program.
  • Uniken appoints Nishant Kaushik as Chief Technology Officer.
  • i-exceed earns Gartner Magic Quadrant recognition as notable vendor in Asia Pacific for mobile app development platforms.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Patch of Land Picks Matthew Zall for Chief Investment Product Officer

PatchofLand_homepage_March2017

Online real estate marketplace lender Patch of Land added commercial real estate specialist Matthew Zall as Chief Investment Product Officer. In his new role, Zall will focus on supporting Patch of Land’s expansion into the single-family rental market, developing longer term, permanent financing products. “The addition of Matt enables us to continue the expansion of our marketplace to fully serve the lending needs of more than 10 million Americans who directly invest in single-family residential properties and need consistent, reliable access to capital to fuel their businesses,” Patch of Land CEO Paul Deitch said.

PatchofLand_MatthewZall_1Before being picked as CIPO for Patch of Land, Zall was Director at B2R Finance, where he was the head trader and architect of fixed and floating rate mortgage products. While at B2R Finance, Zall led the team that developed the first, multi-borrower single family rental (SFR) securitization, winning the 2015 CMBS Deal of the Year award from Global Capital. Previous to B2R Finance, Zall was a commercial real estate trader at JP Morgan, specializing in new origination, securitization and marketing of new deals. He has a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts in Film/Video from Penn State University, and an MBA in Finance and Communications from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.

Patch of Land provides a marketplace and platform for accredited and institutional investors looking for high-yielding, short-term asset-backed investments, and borrowers looking for alternative sources of funding. The company’s technology retrieves data from a diverse set of sources to build proprietary models and risk analysis summaries. This information enables the platform to provide more loan preapprovals as well as give existing borrowers automatic term extensions. As of the fourth quarter of 2016, the company has funded 400 loans with an average size of more than $545,000 and a realized rate of return of 11%.  The majority of the real estate on the platform is residential (71% single-family; 16% multi-family), with commercial real estate – added in August 2015 – making up 13%.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Patch of Land demonstrated its Peer-to-Real-Estate (P2RE) lending marketplace at FinovateFall 2014. A player in the “real estate investment tech” scene of the growing Proptech/Mortgagetech industry within fintech, Patch of Land has raised more than $24 million in funding, including a Series A completed in the spring of 2015. Last August, the company announced a “forward flow arrangement” with an “East Coast credit fund” that would invest $250 million across its platform.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Patch of Land Picks Matthew Zall for Chief Investment Product Officer.
  • Dwolla Launches Same-Day Bank Transfers.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Envestnet | Yodlee Launches Suite of Risk Reporting Tools.

Around the web

  • UK food retailer, The Co-operative Group chooses ACI Worldwide to run wallet service.
  • Palestine’s The National Bank deploys core banking technology from Temenos.
  • Experian joins Marketplace Lending Association as an associate member.
  • Maine Startups Insider features David Joseph, co-founder of Davo Technologies.
  • Dallas News founder features Bruce Parker, founder and CEO of ModoPayments.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Why PropTech and MortgageTech Are the Future of Fintech

If this is the first time you’ve heard the term proptech, it won’t be the last. Proptech (also known as real estate tech or REtech) and its subset mortgagetech have been around since 2014. Here’s why 2017 is poised to place proptech among the ranks of wealthtech, insurtech, regtech.

This year has already been favorable to mortgagetech and proptech companies. SoFi, for example, is about to close a massive, $500 million round, its competitor LendingHome topped $1 billion in mortgage loan originations last year, and RealtyShares has seen over $300 million raised on its platform. According to CB Insights, since 2012 the real estate technology sector has closed 817 deals worth $6.4 billion. Of that amount, $2.6 billion closed in 2016 alone, which represents a 40% increase from that sector’s funding in 2015.

In the U.S., there are a handful of reasons 2017 will be favorable to real estate. Interest rates are projected to rise for the second time, millennials are starting to buy their first homes, and investors are looking to diversify out of the volatile stock market. On top of all of this, regulations are slated to loosen under the Trump administration, and changing in regulation brings opportunities for innovation.

Players

The broader category of proptech can be broken down into four basic segments.

1- Mortgagetech
These are mostly B2B companies specifically focused on facilitating part of all of the mortgage application process. They do not lend or service the loan.

2- Digital mortgage lending companies
These online lenders facilitate the mortgage application process and service the loan.

3- Real estate investment tech
Companies in this category are focused on the investment aspect of commercial and residential real estate.

4- Pure property plays
These don’t have a fintech angle but play a role in the broader proptech industry. Since this category is out of scope for this blog, this list only encompasses a fraction of companies in this category. Check out CB Insights’ coverage of commercial real estate technology for more.

What’s ahead in 2017

  • Expect to see more mortgagetech-bank partnerships along the lines of Roostify’s recent deal with JP Morgan Chase. As banks try to gain a competitive edge for market share, more established banks will need to leverage mortgagetech offerings.
  • We’ll see more niche alt-lending solutions such as SoFi that facilitate the application process and save borrowers on closing costs.
  • Expect to see more players offering real estate investment technology, coupled with some consolidation in real estate crowdfunding companies.
  • Outside of fintech, we’ll see more platforms aimed at cutting out the middle person, the realtor; and more business models such as Knock and GoldenKey that make the selling process easier.

You don’t have to take my word for it

We posed the question, How do you see proptech/ mortgagetech growing in 2017? to these Finovate alums working in the space. Here’s how they responded:

BhatRajesh Bhat, CEO and cofounder of Roostify:

“We expect to see further widescale adoption of digital mortgage solutions – to the point where one should expect it to be table stakes in 2018. We should also expect to see more players emerge in the space as investors see larger market adoption and validation.”

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 9.52.53 AMLinda Schicktanz, Chief Advisor of CK Mack*:

“If there is one area ripe for fintech innovation, it’s real estate investing. Why put 30% down just to gain massive management headaches when you can now invest in rental cashflow online with very similar returns? Fintech and Real Estate are like peanut butter and jelly, they just go together!”

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 8.30.31 AMNima Ghamsari, cofounder and CEO at Blend:

“There is going to be an explosion in the use of data driving the mortgage process in 2017. Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have announced their data initiatives toward the end of 2016, and lenders are starting to push consumer financial data aggregation into the core components of their customer experiences. This ties in nicely to the industry-wide push forward to a more digital, end-to-end process that started in 2016.”

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 4.07.54 PMJilliene Helman, CEO at RealtyMogul

“The impact of digital technology on the real estate industry and mortgage technology is still in its infancy, but I see both less experienced and more sophisticated investors, alike, moving toward a process that takes place entirely online. With over $250 million of capital invested and 100,000 registered investors on the platform, RealtyMogul.com is a testament to this change. The more that technology can offer real estate borrowers and lenders transparency, as well as the efficiency of process and convenience, the faster both sides will adapt.”


*Full disclosure: I’m related to Linda Schicktanz. Yup– she’s my mom.

How it Works: Real Estate Crowdfunding at Patch of Land

patch of land la jolla

While everyone else was playing Pokemon Go last month, I was doing something more appropriate for someone my age, crowdfunding a house flip in La Jolla. Amazingly, I was able to view the property and public records (Google Streetview, Bing, Zillow, Redfin, Trulia); check out the construction-cost estimates; review the revised floor plan; and check out the actual appraisal for the as-built value against four comps in detail, all from the comfort of my home.

Ever since a brief stint in the early 1990s at a mortgage bank, I’ve known there was great demand, and tidy profits, in financing major home rehabs. I never thought I’d have the guts to flip a house myself, and I still don’t, but I can do the next best thing: loan money to real estate rehabbers through crowdfunding sites such as Realty Mogul, Patch of Land, RealtyShares and the like.

For my first try, I chose Patch of Land because they are a Finovate alum (see note 1), but mostly because their email showcasing a new rehab investment opportunity in La Jolla, California (where I honeymooned) caught my attention (see investment page above). The developer bought a 3-bedroom, 3-bath house in May for $1.3 million and is putting $500,000 into a major remodel, creating a 4-bedroom, 2-bath (which the appraiser objected to by the way). The work has already begun, but Patch of Land was still looking to fund the final 10% of the loan. The startup prefunds the projects with its own money, then resells them to investors. This particular house will pay 10.5% interest for the 11 months remaining on the original 1-year term; however, it is likely to be paid off early if all goes well and the house is sold before the end of the 12-month period.

The real estate crowdfunding industry is already bigger than I expected. I haven’t found reliable stats for 2015, but the market was estimated at $1 billion in funding in 2014. Patch of Land has done $150 million since inception, and Realty Mogul, more than $200 million. According to (an undated post) in the Real-Estate Crowdfunding Review, more than 100 such sites exist. They rated eight as all-stars, including two Finovate alums: Realty Mogul ($200 million in cumulative originations) and Patch of Land ($100 million in originations as of March 2016), along with Acquire Real Estate, LendingHome, Peer Street ($75 million in originations), Real Crowd, Realty Shares ($130 million through Feb 2016) and Roofstock.

Bottom line: If you are looking for alternative investments to recommend to clients, consider working with a major crowdfunder to white-label or co-brand the service.

——-

Note: If anyone wants to talk real estate crowdfunding, or anything else, at Finovate NYC in two weeks, drop me a line (jim@finovate.com).

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Stock Gifting Platform Stockpile Acquires SparkGift.
  • Corezoid Goes AWS with its Platform-as-a-Service Core Banking Technology.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions to Power Mobile Deposit for Malauzai Software.
  • Personal Capital Brings on Former Yodlee CFO.

Around the web

  • Gartner names Cognitive Technology a 2016 Cool Vendor in Analytics for myInvenio.
  • Times Realty news looks at why Patch of Land is choosing not to adopt Title III Crowdfunding rules.
  • defi Solutions announces new Chief Technology Officer.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Tradeshift Closes $75 Million Series D Round, Boosts Valuation to $500 Million.
  • Finovate Debuts: EquityZen Lets Wealth Managers Invest in Pre-IPO Companies.
  • Backbase Announces New CFO Leonore Van Waiij.
  • MyOrder, Wirecard Helps Power Shared Spending Functionality for GRPPY App.
  • Dyme Unveils Prototype of Facebook Saving Chatbot.

On FinDEVr

  • FICO Launches Falcon Assurance Navigator to Help Universities Monitor Federal Grant Spending.

Around the web

  • Chartis names CustomerXPs an Enterprise Solution player in the 2016 RiskTech Quadrant for Enterprise Fraud Tech.
  • Patch of Land Adds Institutional Investors to Real Estate Platform.
  • Prosper hires investment banks to explore raising more funds.
  • NuData Security Selected Best AntiFraud Solution at CardNotPresent Expo.
  • TechCrunch: Lending Robot makes Lending Club investing easy as setting screen brightness.
  • Tokbox launches its video broadcast solution for producers.
  • Banking Technology: Goldman Sachs to use technology from Infosys to power its new digital bank, GS Bank.
  • Business Insider features Finovate alums Azimo, eToro, Currency Cloud, and Zopa in list of potential future U.K. fintech unicorns.
  • True Potential wins Best Use of Technology at Money Marketing Awards 2016.
  • CreditHQ announces special freelancer rate.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Marketplace Lending Power 20 List Honors 8 Alums

Power20This week, small business lender Mayava Capital honored the most influential people in small business lending in its Marketplace Lending Power 20 awards.

Representatives from eight Finovate alums were ranked among the group who are, as Mayava puts it, “redefining lending, resurrecting small businesses across the country, and consequently rebuilding the American economy, one loan at a time.” For more information about the awards, check out What Powers the Power 20.

The recipients in order of rank:

Lending Club CEO and Founder Renaud Laplanche
Rank: #1

Lending Club’s FinovateSpring 2009 demo

Prosper CEO Aaron Vermut
Rank: #5

Prosper’s FinovateSpring 2009 demo

OnDeck Capital CEO Noah Breslow
Rank: #8

OnDeck’s FinovateSpring 2012 demo

OnDeck’s FinDEVr New York 2016 presentation

Kabbage COO and Co-founder Kathryn Petralia
Rank: #9

  • Has grown to 80 employees since launching in 2009
  • Has gained 100,000+ customers
  • Has furnished almost $1 billion in loans

Kabbage’s FinovateSpring 2015 demo

Kabbage’s FinDEVr San Francisco 2015 presentation

Credit Karma CEO and Founder Kenneth Lin
Rank: #10

  • Ranked a top-free finance app in iTunes
  • Serves 50+ million users
  • Founded in 2007

Credit Karma’s FinovateSpring 2009 demo

LiftForward President and CEO Jeffrey Rogers
Rank: #17

  • Has secured credit facilities of up to $250 million
  • More than 70% of the company’s SMB borrowers return for a second loan

LiftForward’s FinovateFall 2015 demo

Patch of Land former CEO* and Co-founder Jason Fritton
Rank: #18

  • Formed the idea of the company in 2011 to help Chicago recover from the real estate crash
  • Since launching in 2013, has funded 217 loans totaling $97 million
  • Has returned $25 million to investors

Patch of Land’s FinovateFall 2014 demo

Lendio CEO and Founder Brock Blake
Rank: #20

  • Has helped more than 500,000 small business owners secure loans since launching in 2005
  • Holds a database of more than 3,500 active U.S. lenders
  • Recognized as one of Utah’s fastest growing companies in 2011

Lendio’s FinovateSpring 2011 demo


*Just this week Patch of Land appointed Paul Deitch, former managing director of Oaktree Capital Management, to take Fritton’s place as Patch of Land CEO.

Patch of Land Taps Former Oaktree Executive Paul Deitch as its New CEO

PatchofLand_homepage_April2016

Paul Deitch, former managing director of Oaktree Capital Management, will join Patch of Land as its new CEO.

In a statement about the hire, Patch of Land co-founder Jason Fritton highlighted Deitch’s experience in helping lead Oaktree as it doubled its assets under management from $50 billion to $100 billion and successfully launched its IPO in 2012. “We are excited to have someone of Paul’s caliber and experience,” Fritton said, saying Deitch brings “all of the ingredients we will need as we successfully grow our firm.” Fritton, who co-founded the company in 2013, will transition to the role of executive chairman.

PatchofLand_stage_FF2014c

Pictured (left to right): Patch of Land CMO AdaPia D’Errico and COO Jason Fritton demonstrated their platform at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.

Deitch (right) sees Patch of Land as poised for its next major growth phase. “We have a huge opportunity in front PatchofLand_PaulDeitchof us to continue to expand and diversify the firm’s solution-based lending platform,” Deitch said. In addition to his more than seven years at Oaktree Capital Management, Deitch served as COO at Countrywide Bank, a Management Consulting Partner at KPMG, as well as in a number of executive roles at Bank of America. He has a bachelor’s fegree from UCLA and an MBA from University of Southern California.

The news comes in the wake of Patch of Land’s February announcement that an “East Coast credit fund” was investing $250 million across its platform. In March, the company announced a set of major new milestones, including origination of more than $100 million in loans and returning more than $25 million to investors. New mid-term loans of two to five years were launched in March, as well.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Patch of Land demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2014. The company has raised more than $23 million in funding, and includes SF Capital Group among its investors.