Patch of Land, a Los Angeles real estate loan website that raises money through crowdfunding, today announced a $23.6 million Series A funding round. Funding in the Series A round was led by SF Capital Group, with Ron Suber, president of Prosper Marketplace, participating.
After issuing $17 million in short-term commercial real estate loans without a default, Patch of Land said it is ready to make its case to institutional lenders; financiers it believes are the key to its future.
“Institutional investors were taking a wait-and-see approach,” said Jason Fritton, co-founder and chief executive. “We look at them as our capital firepower.”
Fritton said Patch of Land has generated annual returns of about 12 percent, enough to bring institutional investors off the bench.
Patch of Land has thus far relied on high-net worth accredited investors to fund loans on its platform. So far, 1000 accredited investors have lent to 87 different renovation projects, often fix-and-flip projects.
Whether because of poor timing or weak credit, traditional banks wouldn’t fund those projects. This has created an opportunity for Patch of Land’s crowdfunding technology and investor’s appetite for high risk.
Fritton said Patch of Land had streamlined the online underwriting process to about five days. Average loan size is $194,000.
With its new investment round Patch of Land also wants to expand beyond short-term loans to fund construction loans, three- to five-year loans and longer term buy-to-rent loans.
While Patch of Land is courting institutional lenders, making its loan information digestible for the everyman is important because it also has its eye on a bigger prize down the road: unaccredited investors.
Unaccredited investors are individuals with an annual income of less than $200,000 and a net-worth less than $1 million. Their inclusion into crowdfunded lending has been blocked by SEC foot dragging, but is seen by some as democratizing high risk and high reward financial products. For crowdfunding platforms like Patch of Land it would open up a vast stream of cash.
“We will work with unaccredited investors as soon as we possibly can,” said Fritton.
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