Fast Company recently published its list of the world’s most innovative companies. There were 10 financial companies that made the list, which included Cadre, a digital platform that streamlines real estate investments as well as deal sourcing, due diligence, and reporting. The firm was cofounded by Ryan Williams, a Goldman Sachs alum and entrepreneur.
Cofounder and CEO Ryan Williams is our guest today on the Tearsheet Podcast.
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Below are highlights from the episode, edited for clarity.
How did you get into corporate real estate?
My background is really at the convergence of technology and real estate. I started a technology company about 15 years ago and started a real estate company shortly after I sold my first company. I was always struck about how imperfect, yet large the real estate industry was — how opaque, inaccessible, and lucrative it was. I thought if I could combine my experience building tech companies to increase distribution and overlay that with a product offering that would provide more vibrant financial futures for more people, then I could disrupt an industry for the better.
Do you need to be an insider to disrupt the real estate industry?
We’re in New York for a reason. It’s because this is the hub of financial and human capital. My network and experience in real estate was a competitive advantage. It enabled us to bring together talent that otherwise has sort have been at the fringes of the technology and financial services industries. We’ve brought together people from across various professions, like real estate and private equity from places like Blackstone, investment banking from Goldman Sachs and from technology firms like Google and Apple.
The network and human capital was a near-term moat for the company and long terms, we expect it to be about the data and information we’re able to generate. I also think it generated a level of trust early on. If you think of great brands like Apple, Airbnb, and Amazon, they delivered quality products at quality price points and generated trust among their users. That trust is ultimately what gave them the ability to scale distribution and penetrate more of the ecosystem.