Interaction in Investing

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Described by the co-founders as the “e-Harmony for real estate fundraising,” Peloton Street is focused on how technology can make the process of marketing deals and deploying capital more efficient by helping the investment community focus only on the opportunities that are right for them, so they can close more deals faster.

Across the corporate landscape, data-driven solutions designed connect people have been hugely successful, with everything from flat sharing to dating supported by a range of online platforms created specifically to support users in connecting with one another. However, so far nothing of this kind has been offered for the private capital markets and specifically commercial real estate finance industry; which is where Peloton Street comes in.

Peloton Street’s online platform uses data science and machine learning (a subset of artificial intelligence technology) to help facilitate actionable results and engagement between members of the investment community – a solution analogous to how online dating platforms helps 41 million Americans find “friends, dates, and relationships, and everything in between.”

By reliably collating the criteria used by investors when evaluating and deploying capital into such deals, both sides of a transaction are better ensured the outcome they are seeking. Investors are shown only the deals that they most likely to invest in, while dealmakers can focus their marketing efforts on the leads that are most likely to invest in their deal – instead of “carpet bombing” everyone out there when raising capital. Tabish explains, “The process of raising private capital is not all that different from dating and searching for a soul mate – except, that the first date in context of what we’re doing is meeting with an investor.”

Peloton Street’s artificially intelligent matching platform looks at thousands of professional investors and calculates a match for deals based not only on an assessment of investors’ preferences and similarity to other deals that they may have participated in the past but also their interaction with any new deal flow presented to them through the platform. “We believe that this behaviour is foretelling of how an investor feels about a particular deal – it’s just like the first date… if he or she is just not that into you from the get-go, then you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.”

Drawing on a vast wealth of expertise by working professionally in commercial real estate finance and investing for over 12 years, Tabish has a strong knowledge of the industry. It is how he and his technical co-founder – Neville Jos, a 20 year old computer science prodigy with a passion for data science who has been coding since the age of 12, conceived the idea for Peloton Street. Originally founded in 2013 as a crowdfunding platform with a different team, Tabish and Neville pivoted
Peloton Street to the current value proposition about a year ago after restructuring the company. “We learned the hard way that syndicating private real estate investment opportunities online was not really a scalable business model” – at least, not one that necessarily benefited from the use of technology to generate revenue.

“We found ourselves dealing with all of the same social and regulatory ‘mishigas’ that traditional investment bankers have to deal with when marketing a deal. It just wasn’t going to work; and, rather than burn through our seed round raised from friends and family, we decided to pivot and not have to deal with a lifetime of awkward dinner table conversations.”

Together, they are still working on the original mandate of helping investment capital flow to the most deserving deals, but by tackling another problem that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the commercial real estate industry. “Discretionary capital for investment is the Holy Grail, but it’s gotten a lot harder to raise today. Investors have become smarter and are more sophisticated; and, so many of them like to call the shots.”

Tabish explains that the new regulations introduced following global recession are inadvertently responsible for this new norm. According to him, the financial services industry “underwent a disaggregation that no one really likes to talk about;” however, the diaspora of financial professionals displaced during recession “have seeded a whole bunch of new companies, instead of seeking gainful employment elsewhere.” Smaller players, such as boutique private equity firms and family offices, are gaining market share and are now at the helm of an increasing number of transactions each year.

The increasing number of finance professionals “hanging their own shingles” is in part likely responsible for why capital from private unregistered securities now outpaces the amount raised through publicly registered securities (totalling more than $2 trillion in 2014). “More and more people are chasing after private capital, which in our opinion has actually made it harder to raise capital and do deals,” Tabish surprisingly explains.

“While the market is seeing more activity, this deal flow lacks homogeneity and creates a steeper learning curve for investors.” The definition of a “good deal” is highly subjective, often based on the divergent investment criteria. This environment has motivated even more investors to eschew the fund format in favour of deploying capital on a deal-by-deal basis, simply to stay in control. Peloton Street sees a significant market opportunity in using its technology to help facilitate more actionable engagement between these “users” and “providers” of capital, as players on both sides scramble to source deals and deploy capital.

Peloton Street is a FinTECH start up that uses big-data to help real estate dealmakers and investors come together and transact. We caught up with Co-Founder and CEO Tabish Rizvi to learn more about this innovative and dynamic firm.

Since commercial release of the beta platform in late October last year, Peloton Street has been signing up about 1 to 2 new users a week and having conversations with several more interested in learning more about how the platform could help them with their equity and debt fundraising efforts. “It’s going to take a little time for people to wrap their heads around how an online platform can shortcircuit the process of identifying the right investor for a deal – something that has traditionally taken weeks and months to do. The same thing happened to online dating sites and online discount brokers two decades ago,” says Tabish.

After gathering feedback from a core group of users, Peloton Street recently introduced simpler subscription-based pricing where users can pay $79, $129, or $199 depending on the features that best suit them. “We are immensely thankful to our first 50 users, who have in effect helped us put the finishing touches on the airplane as we fly,” explains Tabish. Peloton Street has been selected to join the Spring 2017 cohort of AREA.build, one of the world’s leading real estate tech incubators based in New York City; and, is “looking forward to working with and learning from the accomplished advisors and extended network. It is our opportunity to learn from the best-of-the-best in the industry.” Tabish is keen to build upon this opportunity and grow the business, all while executing effective marketing campaigns and supporting a growing client base over the coming months and years.”

Company: Peloton Street Name: Tabish Rizvi Email: editor@pelotonstreet.com Web Address: pelotonstreet.com Address: 79 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 1001

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