Effective Date: July 2, 2015
Last Updated: April 13, 2016
Who We Are and What We Do
We provide financial technology through our website, www.EquityMultiple.com (the “Site”), that connects Investors and real estate companies and facilitates the financing, acquisition, development, leasing, management, servicing and reporting of real estate and real estate projects for Investors and real estate companies (the “Investment Related Services”).
In addition to the Investment Related Services, designed to facilitate exchanges and process transactions, we also intend to offer a forum or forums to allow Investors and real estate company representatives to discuss real estate and related matters (the “Social Community,” together with the Investment Related Services, the “Services”).
Types of Users
“Accredited Investor” means any Investor who has indicated, and EQUITYMULTIPLE has made reasonable efforts to confirm or verify (as the case may be), that they meet the definition of an “accredited investor” contained in Rule 501 of Regulation D promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933.
“Investors” means, collectively, (i) Prospective Investors and (ii) Accredited Investors.
“Registered User” means any Site Visitor who has completed the registration process at our Site.
“Prospective Investor” means any Registered User who is not or has not yet been confirmed or verified as an Accredited Investor.
“Site Visitor” means any person who visits our Site.
“Sponsors” means any Registered User who submits information regarding a real estate company or Project.
“User” means any Site Visitor, Investor, Sponsor or Registered User.
Information We Collect
A Site Visitor may review selected information about our Services without revealing his or her identity or providing any Personally Identifiable Information. It is only when you wish to become a Registered User and participate in the Social Community and utilize the Services that you are required to provide Personally Identifiable Information. Investors who wish to invest in real estate projects (“Projects”) presented on our Site must qualify as Accredited Investors and provide additional Personally Identifiable Information as described below.
Personally Identifiable Information
Investor Financial Information
Each Investor may also be required to provide Form W-9 Information, Suitability Information, Payment Information and Accreditation Information (each as described below and collectively the “Investor Financial Information”), including but not limited to:
- Form W-9 Information: For tax purposes, each Investor may be required to provide a completed Internal Revenue Service Form W-9 which includes your Social Security Number (or Taxpayer Identification Number, where applicable) (“Form W-9 Information”).
- Suitability Information: Investors may be required to provide other information sufficient to meet regulatory “suitability” requirements for investing in a Project presented on our Site. Depending on the nature of the offering (“Suitability Information”). This will include: (i) information concerning an Investor’s net worth and historical and current income; (ii) information concerning an Investor’s investment history and risk tolerance; (iii) information concerning his or her residency; and (iv) other information we might request to determine whether an Investor qualifies for a particular investment.
- Payment Information: In order to complete an investment through our Site, an Investor may need to provide certain account and other payment information, such as information needed to make and receive payments via electronic checks (“Payment Information”). Our registration process for Investors provides additional details on the types of Payment Information needed.
- Accreditation Information: In order to complete an investment through our Site, an Investor must verify that they meet the definition of an “accredited investor” contained in Section 501 of Regulation D promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933 and provide sufficient documentation for us to take reasonable steps to verify that the Investor is, in fact, accredited (“Accreditation Information”).
How We Use Your Personally Identifiable Information
We use your Personally Identifiable Information to process your transactions and facilitate your activities with respect to our Site as set out herein. We do not disclose your Personally Identifiable Information to third parties without your express consent except in the specific circumstances identified in the Section “Sharing of User Information” below.
Required Notices: Where necessary to comply with Applicable Law, we will use Investor Financial Information for these purposes. We may use Contact Information and Investor Financial Information in a similar manner to meet these requirements. Registered Users cannot opt-out of this use of information. “Required Notices” means (i) formal notices from Regulators and (ii) other information that we provide in order to comply with Applicable Law. “Regulators” means state and federal regulators with jurisdiction over companies offering securities and this Site in accordance with Applicable Law, including, where applicable, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Required Notices may also include notices to Investors that are required to be provided per the terms of Projects in which they have invested or are necessary in order to effectuate the intent of those agreements.
Processing Your Transactions: We use the Personally Identifiable Information you provide to process transactions that you have authorized us to undertake, and to provide you with the Services you have requested. Registered Users cannot opt-out of this use of information.
Operation of our Site: We use your Personally Identifiable Information in the operation of our Site, and to comply with Applicable Law. You cannot participate in our Site if you seek to opt-out of these uses of your Personally Identifiable Information.
Feedback, Questionnaires and Surveys: Our Site may allow Site Visitors and Registered Users to participate in surveys and/or questionnaires, which from time to time we may post on the Site. We also encourage our users to provide feedback to us about our Site and our Services. You are free to choose whether you participate in these activities. We may ask that, in addition to providing your responses, you also provide Contact Information. In these instances, we use any Personally Identifiable Information you choose to provide to us in connection with these activities strictly for the purposes for which you submit the information. We will use survey and questionnaire information – with any Personally Identifiable Information removed – for monitoring or improving the use and appeal of this Site and for other purposes (with no other obligation to you and, specifically, with no obligation to compensate you for these uses). You are not obligated to participate in any of these activities and, if you undertake these activities, you will have the ability to opt-out as provided in the Section entitled “Changing or Removing Information; Opting Out”.
Sharing and Transfer of User Information
EQUITYMULTIPLE does not sell or rent personal information about its users for marketing purposes. We do, however, work with a number of trusted partners who perform vital functions as part of our operations. We will share with trusted partners only that information necessary for them to perform their functions, and we require them to refrain from using your Personally Identifiable Information for any other purpose.
- Growth Capital Services, Inc. (“GCS”), a California corporation, is a securities broker-dealer registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. They are a provider of broker-dealer and other services related to our securities transactions, and individual personnel of EQUITYMULTIPLE are registered representatives of GCS. GCS is located at 582 Market Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 941014. Because GCS will offer the securities available on our site and provide other services related to our securities transactions, your personal information will be shared with GCS. In addition to notifying GCS, we will also notify the party or parties offering (or issuing) the investment of your interest, and may notify other users in the event that you have chosen to share such information. Since we do not have direct control over the policies and practices of GCS, we are not responsible for their privacy practices or contents of their sites.
- In connection with their own suitability inquiries, sponsors or lenders involved with certain investment opportunities sometimes require that we or our affiliates provide them with the names, investment amounts, and other information (including social security numbers or other identifying information) regarding investors participating in those investment opportunities. The documents relating to such investment opportunities will set forth any related consents that may be required.
- Dwolla, Inc. provides secure payment processing services in connection with investments made on our Platform
- Accredify Inc. provides investor accreditation verification services
- We also work with (among others) providers of hosting services for the Site and electronic signature providers. We may engage third parties to help us carry out certain other internal functions such as account processing, client services, legal services, or other data collection relevant to our business. Examples of third parties might include those that perform data processing, reporting, tax documentation, custody or escrow services.
Since we do not have direct control over the policies and practices of any of the third parties that we work with, we are not responsible for their privacy practices or contents of their sites.
Personally Identifiable Information may also be shared with or transferred to third parties in certain other limited circumstances identified below:
- EQUITYMULTIPLE will reveal your Personally Identifiable Information to the extent we reasonably believe we are required to do so by law. If we receive legal process calling for the disclosure of your Personally Identifiable Information, we will attempt to notify you via the email address you supplied during registration within a reasonable amount of time before we respond to the request, unless such notification is not permitted.
- We may share your information with law enforcement or other government agencies as required by law or for the purposes of limiting fraud. We reserve the right to disclose your Personally Identifiable Information when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights or to comply with a judicial proceeding, court order or legal process. We further reserve the right to disclose any Personally Identifiable Information that we believe, in good faith, is appropriate or necessary to take precautions against liability, to investigate and defend against any third party claims or allegations, to assist government enforcement agencies, to protect the security or integrity of the Site or our services, or to protect the rights, property or personal safety of EQUITYMULTIPLE, its users, issuers, or others.
Changing or Removing Information; Opting Out
Applicable Law places certain obligations on Investors to keep information current, including, for example, Form W-9 Information. It is particularly important for you to keep your Investor Financial Information current and to report to us any material change in this information. We use this information to provide you with investment opportunities and financial distributions due to you as an investor in a Project you invested into through our Site. Without current information, you may receive information in error or that you are not eligible to receive or act on. To allow appropriate control over Personally Identifiable Information, you can access your account (after supplying your user name and password) to change or update discretionary information that you have previously submitted. If you request, we will remove your name and all other Personally Identifiable Information from our databases. It may be impossible to remove this information completely, due to IRS and regulatory reporting requirements, ownership in a Project in which you have invested through our Site and the rights thereof, data backups and records of deletions. If you request deletion of your information, you will be unable to use certain features of the Site and any associated Services. You may not request to remove Anonymous Information from our databases.
Anonymous, Aggregate Information
Anonymous Information Linked With Your Personally Identifiable Information Is Protected As “Personally Identifiable Information”
You can find information about our security procedures at www.EquityMultiple.com. Our security systems are structured to deter and prevent hackers and others from accessing information you provide to us. We make no warranty that our security systems are fail proof. Due to the nature of Internet communications and evolving technologies, we cannot provide, and we disclaim, any assurances that the information you provide us will remain free from loss, misuse, or alteration by third parties who, despite our efforts, obtain unauthorized access. However, we take all reasonable steps to secure and safeguard this Information, including:
- Our Site’s password-protected section requires Registered Users to give us unique identifiers such as their user name and password;
- We employ a secure channel using Secure Sockets Layer encryption to protect information exchanged over the Internet between your web browser and our servers;
- We provide access to our databases containing Personally Identifiable Information on a need-to-know basis only;
- We use automated tools to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload information, change information or otherwise seek to “hack into” our systems;
- We encrypt Investor Financial Information (including account and social security number information) using the same encryption standard used by banks to secure sensitive customer data.
Notice of Security Incident
If we detect, despite the safeguards set out above, an intrusion or other unauthorized access to or use of Personally Identifiable Information, we will (i) notify affected Users of the intrusion if we determine that the information at issue is sensitive; (ii) deliver this notice by the means we deem most efficient under the circumstances (such as, for example, first class mail or email); (iii) use contact information for each affected User in our files; and (iv) use commercially reasonable efforts to accomplish these steps and effect this notice in a timely manner. To the extent Applicable Law requires steps in addition to those specified above, we will under all circumstances comply with Applicable Law.
Participation by Children and Teens
Due to federal law (as reflected in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), WE DO NOT ALLOW INDIVIDUALS WHO WE KNOW ARE UNDER 18 TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SITE OR SERVICES. YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD TO USE THE SITE AND SERVICES. WE MAY CEASE YOUR ACCESS WITHOUT NOTICE IF WE LEARN THAT YOU ARE NOT AT LEAST 18.
Notification of Changes
Relationship to Terms of Service; Incorporation of Terms of Service
Privacy Rights of California Residents
California law requires that we provide you with a summary of your privacy rights under the California Online Privacy Protection Act (the “Act”) and the California Business and Professions Code. As required by the Act, we will provide you with the categories of Personally Identifiable Information that we collect through the Site and the categories of third parties with whom such Personally Identifiable Information may be shared for direct marketing purposes at your request. California law requires us to inform you, at your request, of (1) the categories of Personally Identifiable Information we collect and what third parties we share that information with; (2) the names and addresses of those third parties; and (3) examples of the products marketed by those companies. The Act further requires us to allow you to control who you do not want us to share that information with. To obtain this information, please send a request by email or standard mail to the address set out herein. When contacting us, please indicate your name, address, email address, and what Personally Identifiable Information you do not want us to share with affiliated businesses or marketing partners. The request should be labeled “California Customer Choice Notice.” Please allow 30 days for a response. There is no charge for controlling the sharing of your Personally Identifiable Information or requesting this notice.
Complaints to Regulators
If you are a California resident, you may report complaints to the Complaint Assistance Unit of the Division of Consumer Services of the California Department of Consumer Affairs by contacting them in writing at 400 R Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, or by telephone at (800) 952-5210. Other States may provide similar avenues for lodging complaints. Please check with your State’s consumer protection authority.
You may contact us by mail as follows:
41 Madison Avenue, Floor 35
New York, NY 10010
Updates Since the Effective Date