Los Angeles Business Journal

Realty Mogul Raises $1.5 Million for First Crowdfunded Hotel

By Melissah Yang Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Realty Mogul, a Beverly Hills real estate crowdfunding company, has raised $1.5 million from smaller investors seeking a stake in the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, the first operating hotel in the country to crowdfund an equity infusion.

Realty Mogul offers an online platform for investors to pool their money to invest in large real estate projects that might otherwise have been out of reach. The investors are paid preferred returns, similar to dividends, on a quarterly basis and also share in any appreciation once the property is sold.

In the Hard Rock deal, 85 investors purchased 17 percent of the $9 million total equity through investments ranging from $10,000 to $150,000. The total project cost was $36 million.

Realty Mogul raised $9 million in a Series A round in March and began selling stakes in the 163-room luxury resort a month later. The company claims to be the largest commercial real estate crowdfunding online marketplace, saying roughly $25 million has been invested to fund 76 properties as of June. The total value of those properties is more than $159 million.

“This is a historic time for both Realty Mogul and Hard Rock as hospitality makes so much sense coupled with crowdfunding,” said Jilliene Helman, chief executive of Realty Mogul, in a statement. “Not only can hotel owners raise capital for their projects, but they can drive bottom line results through a network of investors that are staying at the property, touting the property and encouraging their friends and relatives to frequent the property.”

Staff reporter Melissah Yang can be reached at MYang@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @MelissahYang for the latest in L.A. tech news.