Calvin Cooper grew up in a family of real estate entrepreneurs. His great grandmother and grandmother owned real estate while growing up on the North Side of Columbus. According to him, he was inspired by them to go into the real estate business.
Aside from the inspiration of his family, he was also concerned about the widening gap between Black and White property owners. According to a report cited by ColumbusCEO, the rate for White millennial homeownership at age 30 is 2.5 times higher than that of Black millennials.
“The barriers of entry [in real estate] are getting higher and higher, and home ownership is getting farther and farther out of reach,” Cooper told the ColumbusCEO.
Having data that suggested that it was increasingly becoming difficult for Blacks to own properties, Copper co-founded Rhove, an app to allow customers to invest in homeownership for as little as $1 per share in Columbus and other states like Colorado, Illinois, South Carolina and Oklahoma. What is more, the app also allows users to submit a property for investment as well as room for investors to interact.
“Our vision is that everybody in the world should have the access and opportunity to invest in and own the places that we live, work and play,” Cooper said. He is also making big projections based on research figures he has seen.
He is projecting that a billion global investors will own a trillion in real estate through the Rhove app sooner or later. The company makes money by charging sourcing, broker-dealer and processing fees.
Rhove is also targeting the crypto world. This is because more ownership is occurring in the digital sphere via non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency and he believes that the real estate sector can also operate in the decentralized finance ecosystem, according to ColumbusCEO.
Cooper studied economics at Capital University before working at venture capital firm NCT Ventures. Prior to that job, he worked for Ohio Sen. Ray Miller, and for the Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council.
The 33-year-old co-founded Rhove with Jonathan Nutt, Jon Slemp and Scott Sumi.
“Our vision has always been the same. We want to extend access for everyone to own in our communities,” Cooper told The Columbus Dispatch. “I believe democracy is strongest when everyone has ownership,” he said. “We just want to lower the barriers to entry.”