Real estate industry investment platform Fundrise has announced a new, $1 billion fund as part of its bid to expand into the technology space. The new “innovation fund”, as it’s called, aims to make real estate technology investments easier and more affordable for all U.S. residents.
Anyone who lives in the U.S. can invest in the fund, Fundrise said, at the cost of a 1.85% flat management fee. It promised that each investor will be able to participate in the company’s growth and equity and benefit strategically considering the downturn in the tech industry. It argues that an individual, including unaccredited participants, can take advantage of the current investment economics before the cost of these valuations go up.
Ben Miller, co-founder and CEO of Fundrise, said in a statement that by taking advantage of the real estate route, individual investors will be able to access growth equities and venture capital and avoid gatekeeping from fund managers. Having spent more than a decade in the real estate industry, Fundrise is looking to the tech world to drive its next stage of growth, applying innovative measures it has previously used to great success elsewhere.
“The approach we’re going to try to take is basically not to do what the traditional venture industry does, which is [to] hire a bunch of salespeople and analysts that really spend their time doing sales and meeting and trying to convince people to take their money,” Miller told TechCrunch in an interview. “That’s the old-fashioned way to do business. That’s how IBM used to do business 50 years ago, but that’s not how any SaaS company does business anymore.”
Fundrise will focus on investments in mid-stage, late-stage and also public technology firms that display “strong macro tailwinds”, with a particular focus on companies in the artificial intelligence and machine learning spaces. The initiative is part of Fundrise’s mission to transform itself from a real estate investment firm into an “everything investment” platform.
Fundrise said each of the companies it backs financially will be first approved by a three person committee that includes Miller, chief strategy officer Chris Brauckmuller and Chief Operating Officer Brandon Jenkins.