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From The Ground Floor To GROUNDFLOOR—How Brian Dally Discovered He Could Be A Founder

From The Ground Floor To GROUNDFLOOR—How Brian Dally Discovered He Could Be A Founder

Benzinga's Fintech Focus Podcast features conversations with the biggest names in fintech. Subscribe to the Fintech Focus newsletter to get a roundup of industry news delivered to your inbox weekly, and check out upcoming programming at Benzinga events.
In this episode of the Fintech Focus podcast, we chat with Brian Dally, a founder who didn’t always want to be a founder. In 2012 he founded GROUNDFLOOR, a real estate investing platform open to everyone, even non-accredited investors.
GROUNDFLOOR is, according to Dally, the first and, at this point, only investment product that allows everyone to participate directly in real estate debt deals. Only want to plop down $10 as a minimum investment? You can do that. Want to invest $100,000 across several different properties? You can do that too. 

Listen to the podcast below to hear about his journey and what he’s doing to help anyone with hopes of getting in on the real estate investment game.

Interview Highlights

Why don't you tell us a little bit about what GROUNDFLOOR does?

Ground Floor is the first and only investment product that allows everyone, whether you're an accredited investor or not, to participate directly in real estate debt deals that, up until now, were private offerings that required you to invest $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 per deal. We do this for a minimum investment of $10. You build your own portfolio of loans and our investors earn yields of 10-12 percent on terms that are typically about 10-12 months.
So, say I decide I want to invest in real estate. I go to Ground Floor. Explain how the process works.

So, the first thing you have to do is fund your account, right? It's like a brokerage. You have to put money in the account to go invest. Once you have the money in your account, and you know, we've learned how to make that seamless enough, you have money in your account, now you can go look at a variety of loans that are funding at any given time. They're graded A-G. You know, an A grade loan is lower risk. It's lower risk because it has a more experienced borrower who has put a larger down payment into the product and has more equity at risk. It's a lower leverage loan is another way of saying that. And it usually will yield six, seven, eight percent, something along those lines. At the opposite end of the spectrum, more commonly there are C and D grade loans that will yield 10, 11, 12, 13 percent.
But we have everything. We have people that are just getting started with saving and investing and only invest $10 a loan and have a portfolio of $1,000 or $2,000. And we have a $10 minimum, if that's all you can afford to invest, that's a fine place to get started as far as we're concerned.
There are like 100 different real estate crowdfunding platforms. So, what do you say separates your company from everyone else, and what is your overall sense of where the real estate crowdfunding industry is as a whole right now?

It's very easy to differentiate us because we're the only one that allows the non-accredited investor to invest directly in loans that they choose, and we're the only one that has a minimum investment of $10. There are a couple of new portals out there where you can invest in [crowdfunded] real estate deals. The problem there is there's not a lot of deal flows.

So, really, there isn't any competition for what we do. When we compete for accredited investor capital, you know, we point to our public offering. You know, we file audited financials every year. We have a 178-page offering circular disclosing everything about the company. No other crowdfunding or crowdfunding platform or issuer submits to that level of regulatory oversight and disclosure.

We think that's a very important differentiator. We're aware that there's others out there who are great platforms and offer great investment opportunities for accredited investors, but we think we do very well by the accredited investor by being a regulated issuer in a way that no other issuer really is.

Read the full transcript here.

Posted-In: Fintech Focus real estate investmentFintech News Markets Interview General Real Estate Best of Benzinga


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