USA-based platform RealtyShares says it has solidified itself as a leader in the burgeoning real estate crowdfunding arena with $53 million raised by borrowers and sponsors across 90 properties in California.
An online marketplace for real estate investing, RealtyShares connects accredited and institutional investors to real estate investment opportunities aiming to "revamp the archaic industry of real estate investing through the use of technology".
"California has been one of the most active states for the company that has its roots firmly planted in the Bay Area," says RealtyShares Director of Equity Investments Brian Esquivel.
Current projects range from residential fix-and-flips, to multi-family and commercial value-add investment opportunities, providing the RealtyShares network of more than 20,000 investors with a diverse set of deals.
While residential properties proved to be the largest driver of investment on the platform, commercial properties are also an important piece on the RealtyShares Californian portfolio.
Sponsors raised funding for 16 commercial equity projects, led by a $1.75 million multi-family property in the Bay Area and a retail center in Sacramento that drew interest from 25 investors, including seven from the state.
Sixty eight residential opportunities on the website were split between debt and equity offerings with debt deals making up the majority aiming to give developers and operators a chance to raise money for a project quickly at a potentially attractive interest rate.
"Equity properties have different risks associated with them, but potentially offer higher yields, depending on the project," Esquivel explains.
"People have been drawn to the skyrocketing rents and thriving real estate valuations in the major metro areas, while balancing concerns that they are investing into an over-inflated real estate market."
On the platform's commercial equity pipeline, Esquivel says the platform has seen a lot of opportunity for a low cost, flexible, sub-institutional equity product across the country.
"Working with sponsors, we can craft equity deals where our community can contribute either 90 per cent of the equity requirement or sit side-by-side with other investors on the project,” he says.