Just weeks after closing on its latest round of properties, a local real estate investment firm is looking to refill its coffers with eight figures’ worth of fresh capital.
Battle Monument Group last week opened two separate capital raises, seeking to garner $35 million in total.
Led by W. John Oliver, Mike Brumagin and Peter Stark, the 6-year-old firm focuses on acquiring and owning commercial buildings leased to discount retailers, such as the six Dollar General properties it bought in recent months throughout the Southeast for $4 million. It now has 41 such properties in its portfolio.
“We set out six years ago to provide stable returns and that’s what led us to this section of the economy of discount retail, which is not sexy at all, and most affluent people have no awareness how important those discount dollar stores are,” Oliver said this week.
Battle Monument was founded with $5 million in investor capital. Oliver said these two new raises make it three times the firm has looked to gather investor money.
Each of the two new funds is focused on different groups of prospective investors. The smaller of the two, dubbed the Guidon Fund, seeks to raise $10 million. Battle Monument’s partners all have a military background, and Oliver said this fund is named for guidons, small pennants that show troops where the unit’s leadership is.
“That fund is for individual investors who just want to participate,” Oliver said. “Most of our investors are just regular folks that have enough money that they can be investing in an alternative asset. They’re not without means, but they came from humble beginnings and have military backgrounds.”
That fund has a minimum threshold for investment of $10,000.
The other fund, the BMG Yield Fund, seeks to raise $25 million.
“That’s designed for small institutions and family office-type investors that see good value in the work we’re doing. The objective is to fill these (funds) out over the next few years,” Oliver said.
Battle Monument, which has a staff of 10 at its downtown HQ at 530 E. Main St., has had 110 investors, roughly half of whom are repeat investors, Oliver said.
Oliver said Battle Monument has an additional 11 discount retail properties under contract, and hopes to end 2020 with 30 new properties in its portfolio.
The firm’s approach has placed it on the annual RVA 25 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the Richmond area, posting an over 1,000 percent growth rate between 2015 and 2017.