Neighborly has raised $5.5m from Joe Lonsdale’s Formation 8 and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures. The company is aimed at helping communities raise the millions or billions of dollars needed to finance projects from local parks to suspension bridges.
Large-scale and impactful projects require on the order of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. For instance, the city of San Francisco is asking voters to pass a $300 million affordable housing bond this November amid a major shortage, and the regional transit system, BART, has more than $9 billion in maintenance needs through the next decade. So Neighborly is shifting back to its original idea, which was to create a platform for retail investors to invest in municipal debt that actually affects where they live. It’s an enormous market with a size of roughly $3.7 trillion.