Alternative investment platform YieldStreet announced a Series C funding round this week totaling $100 million. The investment brings the New York-based company’s total funding to $279 million.
Contributors to the round include Mitch Caplan, Alex Brown, Kingfisher Capital, Top Tier Capital Partners, Gaingels, Edison Partners, Soros Fund Management, Greenspring Associates, Raine Ventures, Greycroft, and Expansion Capital. YieldStreet will use the funds to attract new users and create new investment products. The company will also use the investment to fuel more acquisitions in addition to the two companies– WealthFlex and Athena Art Finance– it acquired in 2019.
YieldStreet connects investors with asset-based alternative investments that have traditionally been difficult for non-institutional investors to access, such as art, marine, legal, and real estate. Since it was founded in 2015, the company has paid out more than $950 million in principal and interest to its investors.
“These are investments that generate passive income. For example, we do a bunch of things in real estate such as financing warehouses, multifamily and distribution centers,” company founder and CEO Milind Mehere told TechCrunch. “We also do art, auto loans, or equipment finance. These are typically investments done by institutions and what we’re trying to do is really fractionalize them and get them to real estate investors. A lot of this stuff is asset-backed and it’s generating cash flow.”
The funding comes at a time when the public’s interest in investing is growing, and YieldStreet is benefitting as a part of that trend. The number of investment requests the company has seen grew by 250% from January to April of this year when compared to the same time frame last year. And YieldStreet has acquired more users so far this year than it had for the entirety of 2020. Today, the company has 300,000 consumers.
As for what’s next, YieldStreet is considering going public via a SPAC merger in the next couple of years. The company said it has been approached by a few special purpose acquisition companies and that the public markets would offer more visibility to potential users.