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DC startup mogul wants to bring blockchain to real estate investment

Founded by former Goldman Sachs Real Estate Investment Group employees, mogul lets users invest in real estate through a blockchain-enabled platform.
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Published on
April 4, 2023

Today, a DC-based real estate tech company is making its debut to bring blockchain to property investment.

mogul, founded by CEO Alex Blackwood and COO Joey Gumataotao — both of whom have experience working with Goldman Sachs Real Estate Investment Group — launched its platform Tuesday. Boasting integrations with MoonPay, and GLOBL RED, the platform lets users invest in real estate securely with blockchain.

Blackwood told that he first got the idea a few years ago when he went through his first-ever real estate transaction and realized how “manual and archaic” the process was. So, he took a month off between two roles at Goldman to figure out how blockchain could be added to the entire real estate investment supply chain. That research eventually turned into mogul, which was founded in 2021, and he brought on Gumataotao to help.

With mogul, property ownership and investments are tracked and recorded with blockchain, keeping them both transparent and immutable. This helps investors — especially during taxes, Blackwood said — because mogul can run the investments through a few lines of code and pass the tax benefits on to end users. It also means investors can put as little as $100 into a property.

“A lot of the reasons why [traditional real estate] require such a large upfront investment — $50,000 in some cases — is because they need to mitigate against people leaving the transaction because you need a massive back office, you need a legal infrastructure and you need an accounting infrastructure in place in order to perform the in-and-out of that transaction,” Blackwood said. “So blockchain for us is really just to mitigate against those costs and serve as a great back office.”

Blackwood said he’s hoping to target both blockchain-focused investors and traditional real-estate investors who haven’t tried to use blockchain or Web3 before. He added that he wants mogul to be so seamless and easy to use that it doesn’t even look like the process is blockchain-related.

Users sign up for mogul and complete a “Know Your Customer” process to verify identity and risk. After that, they can deposit funds right onto the platform with MoonPay (which can connect with credit, debit and Apple Pay). The partnership with offers analytics for inventory while GLOBL RED is used for brokerage services.

“Our goal is for everyone to have that financial literacy through real estate in a way that’s completely transparent so that blockchains can leverage that and create these efficiencies for them, so everyone can get involved,” Blackwood said.

So far, mogul has completed a pre-seed with Tim Draper as the lead investor alongside Rosa Rios and friends and family. The company currently consists of just Blackwood and Gumataotao; the pair plan on hiring a head of development as well as a marketing team.

But beyond his company’s initial capabilities, Blackwood sees a huge opportunity to add the technology to the real estate world. According to him, blockchain can help cut down on transaction costs and operations by developing smart contracts and tenant agreements in a much shorter time.

“We really believe that there’s an opportunity outside of just the investment platform,” Blackwood said. “We’re leveraging the investment platform to become that consumer-facing brand for the next phases in real estate.”

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