Jeff Bezos-Backed Real Estate Company Targets Unexpected Markets, Fueling Debate on Investment Impact

While cities like Miami, Austin and Atlanta have been in the spotlight for real estate investors, the Jeff Bezos-backed investment platform Arrived is quietly making significant strides in markets that had previously flown under the radar. The real estate investment platform, known for allowing retail investors to buy into properties with as little as $100, is diversifying its portfolio across various U.S. cities, raising concerns about its impact on the housing market.

Arrived’s Market Focus: Arrived has funded over 360 properties since its launch, with more than $128 million in total property value. In the past six months alone, the platform has funded 76 properties, with a noticeable concentration in markets such as Augusta, GA, Savannah, GA, and Knoxville, TN. These areas, characterized by lower average hourly wages compared to the national average, are becoming hotspots for Arrived’s investments.

The states with the most properties include Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina, further indicating Arrived’s strategy of targeting markets that might not be on every investor’s radar but offer potential for growth and returns.

Related: Investing in real estate just got a whole lot simpler. This Jeff Bezos-backed startup will allow you to become a landlord in just 10 minutes, and you only need $100.

The Debate Intensifies: The move has reignited the debate over the role of institutional investors in the housing market. Critics argue that the influx of capital from companies like Arrived drives up property prices and rents, making homeownership and affordable housing increasingly out of reach for locals. Proponents, however, see this as an opportunity for investors to diversify their portfolios and for homeowners to tap into a new source of capital.

U.S. Rep Ro Khanna (D-California) recently criticized the consolidation of single-family homes by investment companies like Arrived, arguing that housing should be a right, not a speculative commodity. His proposed Stop Wall Street Landlords Act aims to curb the role of institutional investors in the housing market.

Arrived Co-founder Alejandro Chouza responded, emphasizing that Arrived was created to make property ownership accessible to everyone, not just billionaires.

Arrived’s Growing Influence: With over $128 million in total property value funded, Arrived is not just a minor player. The platform’s recent performance, including paying out more than $972,000 in dividend income in Q4 2023, demonstrates its growing influence in the real estate market.

The investment platform was the first to be qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell shares of single-family rental properties to non-accredited investors. This model caught the attention of several notable backers early on. Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, Zillow Inc. co-founder Spencer Rascoff, Salesforce Inc. CEO Marc Benioff and Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi all invested in Arrived’s $25 million seed round in 2021. Bezos later made a second investment in the company’s Series A round in 2022.

Arrived is continuing to pioneer new ways for individuals to invest in real estate. The launch of the Arrived Single Family Residential Fund and the introduction of monthly dividends through the Arrived Wallet are making real estate investments even more accessible and flexible.

As Arrived continues to expand its footprint, the conversation around institutional investment in real estate is sure to evolve. Whether seen as a boon or a bane, the impact of platforms like Arrived on local housing markets is a topic that warrants close attention in the coming years.

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