Groundfloor- a Microlending Community for Real Estate

August 20, 2014

Today the Atlanta startup community welcomed another great company to our city! Groundfloor, a FinTech startup that lets you invest directly in real estate projects, recently closed $1 Million in seed round funding and announced it’s HQ move from Raleigh to Atlanta Tech Village. We are excited to welcome them to the Village, and can’t wait to see them achieve even more success. Check out my interview with the team below.

What is Groundfloor?

Groundfloor is the first microlending community for real estate that is accessible for investment to all. Through the innovative application of existing securities laws, we open the market for non-accredited investors to back independent builders with short-term secured loans that pay 8-12% annually, starting with as little as $100.

Is it a real estate startup?

No. Groundfloor is a financial technology startup. We offer a consumer product for saving and investing that is far superior to what you normally get from your bank or brokerage.

Why this startup?

We (Brian Dally & Nick Bhargava) met in October 2012 and found common cause in bringing an Internet sensibility to finance. Brian enjoys attacking industry incumbents from a position of weakness, most recently with Republic Wireless, which he launched to international acclaim in November 2011. Nick is a regulatory hacker who helped author Title III of the JOBS Act, making him one of the nation’s foremost experts on equity crowdfunding.

Who is your ideal customer?

Our community serves backers (microlenders) and builders (borrowers). Our ideal microlender has experience with LendingClub or Prosper and enjoys dabbling with alternative investments. Our ideal borrower has 10+ years experience flipping or building houses and a flair for promotion. For example, meet John Mangham.

What traction do you have?

During our pilot here in Atlanta the past six months, we’ve funded over $1 million worth of real estate transactions, signed up thousands of investors and closed over $300,000 in loans, with a pipeline approaching over $1 million lined up for funding this fall.

What do you love most about being in the Village?

We’ve only been here a week, and already are meeting helpful people, kindred spirits, and new friends. It’s great to surround ourselves with similarly-ambitious companies and other startup people who understand what it takes to succeed.

Any words of wisdom for entrepreneurs?

My (Brian’s) favorite startup proviso is: “No one gives a *#!?&^ about your crappy little startup.” There’s a corollary, of course, that says when someone does choose to make time for you by making an introduction, providing feedback, or (for goodness sake) buying from you–value it all the more.

Anything else you would like us to know?

Yes! First, there are four of us who have moved from Raleigh to Atlanta (Brian, Nick, Ben, and Dee Dee), and several more of us who will be commuting back and forth. Come say hi at the Village!Second, we’re hiring! We need insanely talented and persistent people–in marketing, business development, customer operations, web design and Rails development. Is that you, or someone you know? Send them to so we can get acquainted asap!

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August 20, 2014
Karen Houghton