Groundfloor, said to be the first issuer qualified by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission to offer real estate based payment dependent notes that are available to non-accredited investors, has raised a total of $4.3 million from 671 participating investors in a combination of two recent financings, a private online bridge note closed late last year and an initial closing of its online public offering of equity. In each case, the company kicked off the $1M target invitation-only raises and surpassed this initial goal in under 48 hours. Due to increased growth opportunities and strong demand, the company has expanded the equity raise to the public.
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Groundfloor is offering a total of up to 530,000 shares of Common Stock at $10 per share in its online public offering. Investor benefits include no investor fees for life; access to regular shareholder-only loan offerings; and invitations to attend annual Groundfloor shareholder events.
“Groundfloor’s vision to level the playing field of investing by opening private markets to the public is working,” explained Groundfloor co-founder and CEO Brian Dally. “Thousands of regular Americans have invested tens of millions of dollars in Groundfloor’s real estate loans and are making substantial returns. Now, true to our mission of providing access to everyone, we are thrilled to open up investment in Groundfloor itself as we grow the business. After all, why should VCs get all the upside?”
To date, Groundfloor has raised $7.6M in venture capital from fintech VCs and early stage investors including Fintech Ventures, former WorldPay USA chief executive Anthony Catalfano and Raleigh, NC-based MDO Ventures. The new round of funding, slated to total $7.05 million upon the successful completion of its online public offering, will help to continue enabling the company to scale and continue to grow its sales and lending operations team so it can offer a greater number of loans, serve more customers and supply investors’ demands for high return investments.
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Groundfloor specializes in lending for single-family or small multi-family home rehab and renovation loans and also provides access to short-term, high-yield returns with a minimum investment of as little as $10 with no fees or middlemen. Typical loans return six to 14 percent annually on a six to 12-month term, according to the platform.
“Today is a milestone for Groundfloor as we open up our Reg A offering of equity to the public. We’ve already had an overwhelming response from our customers during the initial invitation-only phase of our campaign,” Dally told Crowdfund Insider via email. “This growth capital and the way we’re raising it will play a critical role in helping us achieve our mission, while also underscoring it.”
To date, Groundfloor stated that it had originated over 417 loans worth over $54M, and that demand has proved strong, with loans regularly selling out in minutes. The number of investments on the platform grew by 100 percent in 2017, from 25,602 in 2016 to 52,153 in 2017. Also in 2017, Groundfloor announced a partnership with its first institutional investor, Direct Access Capital (DAC), and the company recently earned a historic qualification under Tier II of Regulation A to launch nationwide.
Groundfloor investors have reportedly earned an average of 13.6 percent per year over the past three years, which represents over 6x the yield of a current one year Treasury note, and over 1,000 percent more than they would have made if their money had been in a CD or savings account over this period. Groundfloor’s retail investors create their own portfolios of real estate debt investments in the fix and flip residential housing market, and the loans on which the investments are based are secured by a first lien position against the underlying real asset.