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The Big One
A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.
GROUNDFLOOR Raises $3M in Funding
GROUNDFLOOR, an investment and lending platform for real estate loans, has raised $3M in crowdfunding from 1.5K new and existing investors. In addition, the startup reports it had its strongest quarter ever in 2019 Q2.
With the new funding, GROUNDFLOOR has raised a total of $18.3M and has 20% public ownership. Co-founder and CEO Brian Dally said the funding will help accelerate the company’s growth by expanding its teams in sales, software engineering and investor relations.
“Demand for our product is growing dramatically on both the borrower and investor sides,” he said. “Our team has managed this growth very efficiently. In fact, revenue per employee has doubled over the last year.”
As the company continues to grow and gain momentum later this year, Dally said GROUNDFLOOR will invest time and resources in expanding and developing its workforce.
“We currently have positions open in all departments, with a priority on hiring additional customer-facing personnel,” he said. “We are actively recruiting to put four to five Atlanta-based investment loan advisors/originators and several investor support personnel in place by the end of Q3.”
According to GROUNDFLOOR representatives, the average investor chips in about $10 at a time on the platform to fractionally invest in real estate. The company has achieved 20% ownership by 3.1K individual investors total.
“Our investor base looks like America,” Dally said. “They come from all walks of life. The concept of getting involved in real estate is attractive to a lot of people. Having access to lucrative private capital markets in general is new, while investing in startups before they go public is gaining in popularity and acceptance. More than any demographic descriptor, GROUNDFLOOR shareholders are really pioneers on a totally new frontier of personal finance.”
[To read more about GROUNDFLOOR and it's plans for 2019, click here]
Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.
Accenture Announces New Group Chief Executive
Accenture announced it has appointed Atlanta local James “Jimmy” Etheredge as group chief executive — North America. Etheredge succeeds Julie Sweet, who will become Accenture's CEO. Martin (“Marty”) Rodgers take over Etheredge's previous position as senior managing director — US Southeast. These three employees will start their new positions on Sept. 1.
In his new role, Etheredge will lead the company’s business in North America, its largest geographic market, and will join Accenture’s Global Management Committee. He will remain in Atlanta for his new position.
Group Salus Offers Online Risk Assessment
We've reported on a few hacks in recent weeks, and one Atlanta-based cybersecurity startup is making steps to get companies secure. Group Salus is announcing an online Cybersecurity Reputation Risk Assessment to help small and medium-sized businesses identify vulnerabilities in their abilities to communicate to key stakeholders and protect their reputations after a cyberattack.
The assessment, which is available on the Group Salus website, is a step-by-step questionnaire that will be analyzed by Group Salus experts to determine a company’s cyber reputation risk.
Atlanta's Wireless Technology Forum Rebrands
Atlanta’s Wireless Technology Forum has announced it is rebranding as Atlanta Innovation Forum. The organization was founded in 2004 to serve as a platform for the business of emerging wireless and mobile technologies. The change reflects the organization’s focus on broader innovations across many different industries, according to a press release.
“Wireless and mobility were powerful technological ideas 15 years ago when the Forum launched,” Steve Bachman, founder and member of the board of directors, said in a statement. “While wireless technologies are still a driver in our world and we’ll continue to highlight how they enable different industries, the Forum aims to focus on all industries where a number of technologies are disrupting and enhancing how we work and play.”