Eve Picker takes her computer out of her bag and clicks through a mostly empty website of filler text and stock photos. Picker is a Pittsburgh-based developer with a portfolio of complicated projects, but she says this one is probably the most difficult thing she’s ever done. In just a few weeks, the newest real estate crowdfunding platform, Small Change, will launch.
Real estate is known to be a high-returns, lucrative investment previously open to a very few, very wealthy insiders, and crowdfunding seeks to disrupt that. It’s not the first such platform – Fundrise, for example, has been doing this since 2012 – but the idea is to raise money for urban development that might have a hard time locking down loans otherwise.
Small Change also touts a particularly urban mission, only taking on development with the potential to make cities better.
But the ‘crowd’ who can take advantage of Small Change – and other, similar platforms – remains pretty small.