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Exclusive: Sneak Peek Inside The 'Robinhood Of Real Estate,' NYCE's Crowdfunding App REIFY

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Exclusive: Sneak Peek Inside The 'Robinhood Of Real Estate,' NYCE's Crowdfunding App REIFY

NYCE, a fintech geared toward real estate investing, is launching an investment app: REIFY by NYCE.

What Happened: Following a record-setting raise and nearly $500-million real estate acquisition partnership with Texas-based LYND, NYCE released a waitlist for its REIFY by NYCE app, which is set to launch late November.

“Yes, we’re getting ready to go live in the next few weeks,” CEO Philip Michael said an exclusive prototype reveal with Benzinga. 

“The app will accomplish two things,” Michael said. “One, allow our current investors to track their investments. And two, give them exclusive first rights on the larger $500-million pipeline.”

The decision to move forward with a live launch comes after months of painstaking work by Michael and co-founder Martin Braithwaite, a soccer player for FC Barcelona. The two strive to mend disparities in social and economic justice among different classes and demographics.

“A lot of the issues you see in America are really manifestations of classism," Michael told Benzinga. "And the lower rung of the economic hierarchy has been inhabited by Black and brown people."

How Does It Work? In the simplest way possible, NYCE’s app is the Robinhood of real estate investing, allowing micro-investors the ability to buy into real estate for as low as $10.

Presently, the firm’s waitlist has 40,000 sign-ups. Once live, app users will get exclusive access to deals before the public or any third-party platforms like wefunder.com and republic.co.

Michael told Benzinga that initial projects will be filled by NYCE’s $500-million pipeline of apartment developments, including its partnership with LYND.

Courtesy Photo.

Other investment offerings will be owned by and offered through a NYCE-owned fund run by Michael as well as Danny Cortenraede, the serial entrepreneur and investor who built the digital agencies Wannahaves and 433 into a 55-million-follower community. The duo will leverage Cortenraede’s reach to build out a large investment community and promote offerings.

“There’s a deep interest in this asset class,” Michael said.

“No one is focusing on this exclusively for retail investors; the margins, liquidity and volume just aren’t there. That’s not where our money is; we own the real estate. So we can actually offer this extremely underserved product to the masses at scale without worrying about volume needed to turn a profit.”

Why It Matters: The broader goal shared by the founders is to create a movement, backed by awareness around the importance of investing among minorities and younger generations.

“The wealth travels through the Black community,” Michael said. “Simple shifts in individual behavior could reduce the wealth gap we have today.”

In a conversation earlier this year, Michael said that up to 90% of millionaires are made in real estate. Increasing access to the asset class is NYCE’s way of bridging the socioeconomic divide, he said.

“It’s an important milestone but we still have a long way to go,” Michael said. “I always say this, there’s been a shift in how young people think about money.”

 

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