The game of Monopoly, originally called The Landlord’s Game, was created in the early 1900s. Parkers Brothers released the modern version of the game in the mid-1930s, and it quickly became a global phenomenon. Millions of players worldwide have gained their first exposure to commercial property investment and development through the game of Monopoly.
In the real world, private real estate investing is much more complicated. Investing small amounts of capital while building a diversified real estate portfolio has been impossible. Individuals must buy entire properties, invest in partnerships, or commit substantial capital to private REITS. Access to the most attractive real estate investments has been limited to institutional buyers and larger family offices.
RealtyShares is poised to dramatically change the real estate investment market by making investing in and raising capital for real estate simple and widely accessible for both individual investors and property developers. The company operates an online marketplace that enables investors to purchase shares in real estate investments for as little at $5,000. Individual investors can invest in debt and equity positions in both residential and commercial properties and build portfolios that are diversified by asset type and location. Property developers/ borrowers, who are first carefully vetted by RealtyShares’ underwriting team and proprietary underwriting technology, can efficiently raise project capital from outside their personal networks at attractive rates and in a fraction of the time it would take a traditional bank.
All users have access to a RealtyShares’ secure Investor Dashboard, where investments and returns can be monitored and all documents can be accessed and managed in one place. And it’s working! Investors on the platform are earning attractive returns on their investments and borrowers are realizing significant savings in terms of cost and time compared to other funding alternatives.
We believe real estate investing will become one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in the crowdfunding and P2P lending space. RealtyShares is an early leader in this space and showcases multiple characteristics that define success: high frequency and frictionless use, marketplace matching and symmetry (buyers can be sellers and vice versa), and value-added services for the user. The team, led by CEO Nav Athwal, has extensive first-hand experience in both the real estate and marketplaces industries, and is well on their way to building the market leader.
RealtyShares sits at the nexus of two areas where we see significant opportunity: fintech and marketplaces. Menlo’s disruptive fintech investments include Betterment, the largest online automated investment service, Check, the leader in mobile bill payment (now part of Intuit), and Digital Insight, the pioneer of online Internet banking. Our marketplace investments include Uber, Rover.com, Poshmark, Getaround, and Munchery. All of these innovative services are disrupting traditional industries and changing the way we work, live, and in RealtyShares’ case, invest.