Yesterday’s SEC Reg A+ Ruling

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Yesterday was an important day for GROUNDFLOOR, for our growing community of microlenders and for the long-awaited eventuality when the full force of the Internet will be felt in finance.

In a public meeting in Washington, D.C., three years after passage by Congress of the 2012 JOBS Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a much-needed amendment to a little-known and little-utilized corner of securities law known as Regulation A. Because Regulation A offerings are open to all, not just “accredited investors,” the amendment gives hope to many that the promise of broad-based “equity crowdfunding” can now start to be fulfilled. In the minds of many, this is a good thing for savers, investors, builders, entrepreneurs and the economy.

As has been reported publicly, for almost a year we have been patiently working our way through the regulatory process to offer securities under Regulation A. All of us who are a part of GROUNDFLOOR, the first and only community of its kind that is 100% open to all, therefore enjoy a huge head start. In fact, our efforts have already yielded state-level approval in Georgia and eight other jurisdictions. We expect to receive federal approval by the SEC soon. That approval will enable us to begin expanding nationwide.

We have long anticipated this action by the SEC. It raises the limit on securities we will be allowed to sell under Regulation A by twenty times compared to what we have been allowed to sell in Georgia during our pilot program here. We had expected to benefit from an expansion of the limit–but not this much!

Even while we cheer what this development does, it is also important to take note of what it does not do. Specifically, yesterday’s action does not “de-regulate” the marketing and sale of financial securities. Far from it. Gaining the requisite regulatory approval to use Regulation A still demands a deservedly lengthy and exhaustive process of disclosure, scrutiny and compliance review. We had to register our offering with the federal government, as will those who may eventually follow us. That requirement means issuers like GROUNDFLOOR must sweat the details to comply with highly specified rules and to weather intense scrutiny by auditors, legal advisors, and regulators.

Despite knowing the costs, the time and the uncertainty that would be imposed on us, we embraced the process because we believe in transparency and disclosure. We believe you and all investors deserve that, and more. You deserve a world of financial opportunity that is as broad and accessible as you are informed and discerning. The very architecture of the Web enables and even demands it.

Yesterday, the SEC outlined a pathway that heads in the right direction of history and progress. As a community, it is now upon us to take it. Are you ready? Join us, tell us what you think at founders@groundfloor.us or feel free to continue the discussion in the comments below.


  • Yahya Jamison

    You guys are planning on using Reg A+ or Reg A to offer securities then I take?

Find Your Pot o’Gold at the End of Our Rainbow

We haven’t downed enough pints to perfect our Irish accents, though we did stumble upon a list of the Top 50 Irish Sayings and Proverbs. Here’s one of our favorites:

May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!

We’re delighted that the Irish think the same way we do – about coins in your pocket, at least. And when you invest with GROUNDFLOOR, those coins add up quickly. It’s simple to find your pot of gold with us. Create an account. Study our loans. Say an Irish blessing. Choose a loan and invest. Watch your pot of gold grow.

Want to know if GROUNDFLOOR is for you? We’ve added some Irish cheer to our “Is this for me?” infographic.

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Still need more information? Follow our How It Works map and see how your money can work for you. If you’re convinced, grab a pint, find a four-leaf clover, and invest in a loan today.

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Our Appearance on AM Biz 1190 with Dana Barrett

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In case you missed it, on Thursday this week our co-founder and CEO Brian Dally appeared as a guest on Dana Barrett’s popular Atlanta morning radio show on AM Biz 1190. Dana interviewed Brian for 11 minutes. Listen to the segment here:

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Behavioral economist Don Barden was also on the show, and the conversation about GROUNDFLOOR continued throughout portions of the hour. Dana and Don both expressed their enthusiasm and support, and asked some great questions along the way too. Interested in hearing some of our backstory and where the dialogue went? Listen to the full 1-hour show.


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Milestones, Progress & What’s to Come

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It was just over one year ago that this community of microlenders started funding our first loan. Back then, we funded one or two small loans at a time. By law, because we offer the opportunity to invest to everyone not just accredited investors, every loan had to be based in Georgia. We could accept only lenders who were too. It started small, but we had high hopes for our pilot program and big aspirations for what our borrowers and lenders would create, and for what it all could become.

Since then, as we wrap up this phase of GROUNDFLOOR‘s development and prepare to expand nationwide, here’s what’s happened:

  • More than 3,000 people in Georgia signed up to participate
  • Our lenders have funded 22 loans ranging from $8,000 to $100,000
  • The average lender has invested more than $2,300 and earned an annualized return of 11.5%
  • Our borrowers have repaid 6 loans to date, and announced repayment for another 2 this week

Those results matter to the growing number of people who are benefitting from them. Our average lender earns interest sufficient to pay off the average U.S. credit card balance1 in fewer than four years or to afford a down payment on his or her first home sooner. Taking advantage of the newly opened market for private lending, our lenders are now beating the average return on the S&P 500 since 19702, while taking less risk, with greater control than has ever been available to them before.

Last month, record lender demand took us by surprise. Five loans worth $280,000 funded in February. We sold out, i.e. ran out of actively funding loans! Fortunately, we’ve built a rich pipeline of loans that are working their way through the application process and are on their way to being listed on the site. We have good news for those who might have missed out or are looking to invest more:

  1. You’ll see a handful of new loans offered over the next week. These will be the last to be offered exclusively in Georgia. If you haven’t signed up for an account yet, do it today. Watch your email inbox for the opportunity to join the groundbreakers who made real estate microlending successful in our home state before it reached a national spotlight.
  2. More significantly, in the coming months we’ll be able to offer more loans in more places as we invite borrowers and lenders from more states beyond Georgia to join us. We are in the homestretch of completing the necessary regulatory legwork, and hope to announce approval soon.

Every month now, we continue to be flattered by the response to and demand for GROUNDFLOOR’s role in the wave of Internet finance now reaching its first beachheads. We owe a special thanks to our community, investors, and supporters for their help along the way to reaching today’s milestones. It is only because of their backing that we can look forward to such a promising future. If you live in Georgia, please join in today to become a part of that–and let us know what you think by using the comments below or writing us at founders@groundfloor.us. We love hearing your comments, critiques, questions, and votes of confidence.


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Say Hello While We’re at SXSW in Austin, TX

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SXSW, the annual music, film, and interactive festival, is two weeks away, and we’d love to meet you while we’re in Austin for it.

We’re going because GROUNDFLOOR has been named as a finalist in the Innovative World Technologies category for the SXSW Accelerator, a startup pitch competition where leading startups from around the world will showcase their technology innovations to a panel of judges and a live audience.

The two-day event takes place Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15. Our category begins pitching at 3:30PM on the 14th. The pitch competition culminates with the Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening on the 6th floor of the Downtown Austin Hilton.

Did you know “Texas” comes from the Caddo word tejas meaning friends? We’re always happy to make new friends. To meet us while we’re in Texas, reachout via email to press@groundfloor.us See you there!


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Loan #17: 31 Stratford Drive NW

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Today marks day 17 of our #17loans17days blog retrospective. It would have been the most recently funded GROUNDFLOOR loan. But in the days since we started the series, hundreds of you have funded four more (and, very soon, will have funded fifth one!). Funding is accelerating. We’ll have more to say about that in a future post.

But first, to wrap it all up, allow us to introduce borrower Wilford Vales and his project in west Atlanta at 31 Stratford Drive NW. Wilford is a native Atlantan and has more than 15 years experience in real estate investment in the Atlanta market.  His company, WillBuySell is both a rehab-renovation and hard money lending company working all aspects of the in-town market. He came to GROUNDFLOOR with the Stratford project in the fall of last year. Another investor had purchased the property with plans to flip it. That investor lost the property to foreclosure. Wilford and his team acquired it for $15,000 and now plan to rehab and flip it quickly.

The $25,000 loan offered GROUNDFLOOR lenders an annual rate of 13.2% over 12 months. It was used in part to acquire the property and also to support rehab efforts. 60 lenders fully funded this loan in January of this year within one month after it went live. The rehab work, mostly cosmetic, has already begun. Where traditional financing options aren’t available or viable on their own for properties like Stratford; the scope and scale of the Internet bring borrowers like Wilford and microlenders together to restore blighted properties more quickly than they would be otherwise.

When you invest with GROUNDFLOOR, you become a part of our growing community of borrowers and lenders; and can invest in real estate like never before. From the moment you invest, your money starts earning. And when you invest $500 or more before midnight tonight, we’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion.

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Loan #16: 146 Ericson Street

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In the next to last installment of #17loans17days, we head to Atlanta’s historic Edgewood neighborhood for a special project with the Atlanta Police Foundation.

You may have already read about our partnership with Atlanta Police Foundation from an earlier post by Nicole, our VP of Marketing or in another post when the loan funded in January of this year.

And if not, here’s your chance. We met with Jenna from the Atlanta Police Foundation last Fall. She was excited about the prospect of a partnership. After telling us about the APF’s Secure Neighborhoods Program, we all agreed that GROUNDFLOOR was a great fit to help bring the program to life.

The Secure Neighborhood initiative empowers sworn police officers to become homeowners by making housing affordable in communities where officers serve and protect. Through our partnership with APF, our growing community of lenders has the opportunity to earn big on their investments and make a big impact on the community.

The property in Edgewood at 146 Ericson Street was acquired by the Fulton County City of Atlanta Land Bank for just $10. The FCCA Lank Bank supplies properties to the APF for the Secure Neighborhood initiative. And that’s where GROUNDFLOOR and its community of lenders step in.

We took the Ericson loan live on November 23rd of last year; and many of you were quick to lend. The $75,000 loan at 7% over 12 months was funded by 101 of you. With the loan funded, renovation has begun; the home should be ready for a house warming this spring.

When you invest with GROUNDFLOOR, it’s more than just yield, it’s making an impact on the communities right in your back yard. Lending with GROUNDFLOOR is simple and transparent. You, the lender, browse our loans, select one (or more) that interest you, examine the accompanying details, and decide to invest with just a few clicks. We make it easy to earn high yields while doing some good.

Invest today before you miss our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion. We’ll add $100 to any investment of $500 or more today and tomorrow.

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Loan #15: 1949 Sosebee Drive NE

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In today’s installment of our #17loans17days blog retrospective, we meet with borrower Dustin Cole again. This time for a project in Dalton, GA.

Did you know…? Dalton is the “Carpet Capital of the World”. More than 150 carpet manufacturers call Dalton home. In fact, more than 90% of the functional carpet in the world today is produced within a 65-mile radius of the city.

Producing nearly all of the world’s carpet is no small feat. And you might be interested to know that it all started with a wedding gift given in the late 1800s by a young woman who lived in Dalton, Catherine Evans Whitener. Her gift, a tufted bedspread, sparked an entire tufting industry which later morphed into the carpet industry. A mechanized carpet making process entered the marketplace after WWII and Dalton’s residents proved the perfect fit with all of their specialized tufting skills; and the “Carpet Capital of the World” was born.

Much like Catherine, we hope our idea for a new kind of finance can play a part in changing our industry forever. Borrowers like Dustin play an important role in that process. For his 4th project with us, he used GROUNDFLOOR to acquire a distressed property, 1949 Sosebee Drive NE, and flip it quickly for cash. Our lenders saw that vision, too; and fully funded the $8,000 loan at 13.5% for 12 months in just 1 day! Everything about this project was quick.

That’s just one way GROUNDFLOOR makes real estate finance and investing different. We offer borrowers an alternative to banks and traditional hard money lenders using a streamlined process that makes borrowing simple, reliable, fast, and efficient. In return, lenders find an increasingly large variety of loans to choose from–from different borrowers, in different places, with different loan letter grades, terms and interest rates.

Our platform opens real estate investing to everyone, not just accredited investors (financially sophisticated investors with high net worth). With just $10, you can become a GROUNDFLOOR lender. When you invest, you earn. And when you invest $500 or more, we’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion until February 22nd.

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Loan #14: 51 Warren Street NE

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Loan #14 of our #17loans17days blog retrospective introduces a new borrower, Dee Giarratano, who has nearly 2 decades of experience building and remodeling homes in metro Atlanta.

Dee was referred to us and has since become one of our biggest advocates referring other builders and borrowers to us. He found GROUNDFLOOR when he was pulling together financing for one of his teardown and rebuild properties in historic Kirkwood.

Atlanta’s historic Kirkwood neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 after a successful nomination by neighborhood residents, business owners, the state’s historic preservation office, and the Georgia State Heritage Preservation program. The neighborhood has a long history of residential development. As early as the 1870s it had a reputation as the streetcar suburb of Atlanta and was even described in an early tour book as an “area of beautiful suburban villas”. Even today, it’s often described as “the small town in the big city” boasting 5 of Atlanta’s city parks, its very own post office and fire station.

After he applied online and then documented his plans for 51 Warren Street NE, it wasn’t long before we took the loan live. 104 lenders fully funded the $50,000 12 month loan at 20% on December 10th of last year. Attractive for lenders; and attractive for the community, too. Dee’s plans for 51 Warren Street NE included acquiring the property, tearing down the existing house, and rebuilding a beautiful new craftsman style 5 bedroom 4 bath home.

Financing through GROUNDFLOOR helped Dee avoid unfavorable profit sharing arrangements sometimes required by hard money lenders. The GROUNDFLOOR platform makes it possible for everyone to earn. Borrowers secure financing, complete projects, earn profit, and pay back lenders. Lenders browse projects, fund loans, get repaid, and earn interest.

Get in on the earnings. With just $10, you can become a new kind of hard money lender in real estate, powered by the scale and scope of the Internet. And when you invest $500 or more in any of our loans, we’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion.

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Loan #13: 186 Birch Road

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Today in our #17loans17days blog retrospective, we revisit borrower Dustin Cole for a project in Franklin, GA. You’ll remember Dustin from our first two projects with him in Rome and Carrollton respectively.

Dustin has become a good friend of GROUNDFLOOR. He shares in our excitement about changing the finance landscape and is eager to build a following of GROUNDFLOOR lenders.

His “quick fix and flip” strategy spans nationwide though today’s project at 186 Birch Road takes us just 50 miles or so southwest of Atlanta. This project with Dustin was our first acquisition loan – a loan given to purchase a specific asset –  and also one of the first loans to launch with our $10 minimum investment announcement.

Investing made affordable proved to be popular with you, our growing community of lenders. In just 16 days, 60 of you fully funded this $22,000 12 month loan at 13.5%.

You can be a part of that growing community and fund loans from borrowers like Dustin. When you lend; you earn. It’s that simple. GROUNDFLOOR’s platform makes it possible for borrowers to secure financing options that might not otherwise be available for their projects and pay interest to the community of lenders who invest. As a lender, you invest in only the projects you choose.

Right now, as part of our Cheers to 2 Years! promotion, you can earn $100 when you invest $500 or more in any of our loans. That’s right! We’ll add $100 to your investment for a total of $600 – and you earn interest, too.

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