NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LEX, the first commercial real estate securities marketplace available to retail investors, closed $4M in seed financing co-led by Greycroft and Thor Equities. On LEX’s platform, everyday Americans will be able to buy and sell shares of individual commercial properties, giving retail investors the flexibility to create customized income-producing real estate portfolios, and allowing property owners to unlock equity while retaining operational control of their properties. LEX is democratizing the commercial real estate asset class and redefining real estate investing.
“LEX is creating a simple solution to a complex problem that has been around as long as I’ve been investing,“ said Alan Patricof, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Greycroft, “There’s clearly a large demand for access to commercial property investments, and the LEX team is meeting that demand.”
LEX offers a unique solution to a two-sided capital markets problem that has vexed both retail investors and real estate owners for decades.
Retail investors have had limited access to commercial real estate. The best opportunities have been reserved for real estate private equity funds and high net worth investors. REITs enable public investment in pooled holding companies, but are not customizable and do not pass through many of the tax benefits of real estate ownership to shareholders. Other direct investment platforms are restricted to accredited investors and only offer securities that are not freely tradable.
Property owners have had limited ability to realize liquidity on the equity they own. They typically must sell their entire property to liquidate their investments, incurring high transaction costs and losing control of properties they care about.
LEX solves both of these problems.
LEX will enable retail investors to directly invest in individual commercial real estate properties. The shares offered on LEX’s platform will be issued under Regulation A, allowing purchases by non-accredited retail investors. The shares offered will be publicly traded partnership interests, allowing the full tax benefits of direct real estate ownership to pass through to investors. The LEX platform will provide users with tools to research and compare properties, and securities will be priced initially at $100 when offered, making it easy for investors to build customized income-producing portfolios.
Property owners selling ownership interests through LEX will retain operational control of their properties while gaining access to a broad pool of equity capital. Shares will be publicly tradable in the open market, resulting in greater liquidity and more accurate and current asset valuations.
“LEX creates a whole new way for real estate owners to realize equity appreciation on their assets,” said Joseph Sitt, Founder and Chairman of Thor Equities. “The new marketplace is going to make a huge impact on liquidity in the asset class.”
LEX is founded by two brothers, Drew and Dean Sterrett, who serve as CEO and Head of Product, respectively, and Jesse Daugherty, a former Google engineer. While previously working in real estate private equity, Drew became frustrated at how the best investment opportunities were reserved for institutional investors. LEX was founded to break down those barriers and provide access to the investing public, whom SEC Chair Jay Clayton has dubbed “Mr. & Mrs. 401(k)”.
LEX, a real estate fintech company, will deliver a revolutionary new solution to the illiquidity problems facing real estate owners and investors through a new real estate investment platform.
*All investment services offered by LEX Markets Corp. associated persons are currently conducted in their capacities as registered representatives of SDDco Brokerage Advisors, LLC Member: FINRA / SIPC, 485 Madison Avenue 15th Floor New York, NY 10022. 212-751-4424 (“SDDco-BA”). LEX Markets Corp., its subsidiaries and affiliates, are independent from and not corporate affiliates of SDDco-BA. This press release is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any security. For more information, visit LEX-Markets.com
Greycroft is a seed-to-growth venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to build the world’s most transformative companies. Greycroft has made over 300 investments across the tech sector, including Acorns, Huffington Post, Icertis, Plated, Shipt, TheRealReal, Thrive Market, Trunk Club, and Venmo. For more information, please visit: www.greycroft.com
About Thor Equities
Thor Equities is a leader in the development, leasing and management of commercial, office, retail, hotel, residential, and mixed-use assets in premier urban locations worldwide. The company maximizes returns for investors by recognizing a property's potential, reducing operating expenses, increasing tenant satisfaction, and leveraging market trends to maintain a long-term competitive edge. Thor Equities is also the exclusive representative of global retailers through Thor Retail Advisors, a premier leasing agent for marquee properties worldwide.