2020 was a year unlike anything most of us had ever experienced. And although we’re still struggling with the lasting effects of the pandemic, it’s important to take a moment to recognize and celebrate our collective successes. All of CrowdStreet’s 2020 record-breaking moments were made possible because of you, our investor community.
When the global pandemic hit back in March, we immediately re-evaluated our entire deal pipeline and growth plans for the year. We focused on connecting with our entire community with livestream events, video updates with experts from across the country, and published our first-ever Investment Thesis. With more than $640 million invested across 90 deals, the CrowdStreet community ended 2020 on a higher note than I think any of us could have imagined last March.
45 new sponsors
As institutional capital became mired in its inability to keep projects moving across the commercial real estate ecosystem, the opportunity arose to bring sponsors and their deals to individual investors like you making private equity capital a beacon of light during a dark period in Q2. Some of the world’s largest sponsors, including Greystar, Cabot, Cabot, and Forbes, and Harbor Group International chose to raise capital with CrowdStreet and this investor community in 2020.
In the wake of COVID, we realized that publishing the details of our deal review process was more important than ever to build trust with our community. CrowdStreet is committed to both the quantity and quality of our deal flow—we want to provide you with ample opportunities while always ensuring they are institutional quality, and we know that working with experienced sponsors can make all the difference. We welcomed 45 new sponsors, including five new enterprise-level and 16 tenured-level, to the Marketplace in 2020 and our team is already discussing bringing more offerings from them this year.
As we head into 2021, we’re looking to continually improve the quality and variety of our investment opportunities on the Marketplace. Our Capital Markets team is building direct relationships with best-in-class real estate developers and operators. In addition to fueling our deal flow, we’ll leverage those relationships to bring you educational roundtable discussions—like we did with student housing and industrial sponsors—and give you an insider’s look at an asset class.
90 of the most diverse deals in our history
By the end of the year, the CrowdStreet team brought 90 new investment opportunities to our investor community. I’m proud to say that the team significantly expanded the diversity of deals found on the Marketplace this year, launching new asset types including our first data center, a charter school, several build-to-rent projects, and a micro-unit multifamily development.
We also launched several CrowdStreet managed funds, including our first e-commerce and opportunistic funds, each designed to take advantage of the opportunities created by the market dislocation of 2020. We welcomed Jack Chandler, former Managing Director and Global Head and Chairman of Real Estate at BlackRock, as a voting member of our Investment Committee for CrowdStreet Funds and a member of our Board of Advisors. His input was instrumental in the creation of those funds and he’ll be guiding us through new fund launches this year.
As our Chief Investment Officer Ian Formigle points out in our 2021 Investment Thesis, the U.S. is facing a markedly different real estate investment landscape than it did just a few months ago and we want to bring deals to the Marketplace that have business plans designed to meet the moment. Our Investments team is working on a report that will dive more into which markets and asset classes we value the most this year, and we’re looking to publish that in the next few weeks.
$640+ million in investments
Although Marketplace deal flow slowed dramatically in Q2, as we bounced back in early summer your demand for real estate investment opportunities was a true bright spot for the industry. It was amazing to watch five deals raise more than $20 million each, some in a matter of minutes. In fact, 7 of our top 10 largest deals of all time closed this past year.
I’m proud to announce that 2020 ended up being the single best year for dollars invested in the history of CrowdStreet, with December going down in the record books as our best month to date. Back in March, we could have never predicted that 2020 would end on such a high note and on behalf of the entire CrowdStreet team we’re truly humbled by your support and trust this past year.
To date, Marketplace investors have earned more than $160 million in distributions across 459 deals. 40 of those projects have fully-realized and we expect many more to exit this year.
Finally, I’d remiss if I didn’t mention how all of this was made possible by the phenomenal team we have here at CrowdStreet. Like everyone, our team had to remake “business as usual” under decidedly not usual circumstances. Their work was recognized in 2020, helping CrowdStreet earn a spot on the Forbes Top Startup Employers and Inc 500 lists, among many other accolades.
We have plans to significantly expand our deal pipeline this year, bringing you even more opportunities to invest. Our Product team is hard at work on multiple projects to improve our underlying technology and user experience. This includes enhancements to your Investor Room and Portfolio Page, as well as streamlined account setup and management.
While we work to improve our technology, we are also investing in our Customer Operations team with additional staffing to improve our response times and expanded content and knowledge base to provide real-time answers to your questions. We’re planning on revamping our Resource Center and expanding our educational resources—more expert analysis and market research, new StreetBeats guests, and a more comprehensive help center—making it even easier for you to find the information you need when you need it.
We’re also looking to invest heavily in our own growth and are doubling down on our commitment to investors, building out our team on all levels so we can deliver the kind of investing experience you deserve.
Although the future remains uncertain, I am optimistic that 2021 will be an exciting year for the entire CrowdStreet community. On behalf of our company, we hope to see you on the Marketplace soon!