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:
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing your comments, critiques, questions, and votes of confidence.