Ryan Williams (entrepreneur)
Ryan A. Williams
|Occupation||CEO of Cadre|
Ryan Williams is a technology entrepreneur best known as the CEO and co-founder of Cadre, a New York-based technology company. He was named to Forbes' "30 under 30" list for 2018, “Crain’s 40 under 40” list for 2017, is one of Goldman Sachs’ “Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs”, is one of Commercial Observer’s “30 under 30” and has been profiled in Forbes, Ivy, technology and real estate trade publications. In February 2019 he was on the cover of Forbes' "FinTech 50" issue.
Williams was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and founded a sports apparel company at 13. Williams matriculated to Harvard University, where he founded the Veritas Financial Group, the school’s largest undergraduate financial literacy group.
Williams began his career in real estate technology during his undergraduate term at Harvard. He was inspired to create a system to track foreclosed homes after seeing the impact of foreclosures during a trip to Atlanta. By using data about properties and neighborhoods, he was able to start a business purchasing deeply undervalued homes and restoring them to occupancy. This business "flipping" homes with classmates and others as investors was his first entrepreneurial venture.
At 26 years old, he left Blackstone to found Cadre, a financial technology platform that seeks to make the real estate market more like a stock market. Williams currently serves as CEO of Cadre and has led it through a $65 million Series C fundraising round led by Andreessen Horowitz. He has been quoted as saying “Cadre’s mission is to create a more efficient economy, where we can connect the world’s buyers and sellers in opaque assets that have been inaccessible to many.” He believes that increasing the ability of investors to participate in alternative asset classes (such as "energy, natural resources, oil, infrastructure or anything that’s historically been privately held or inaccessible") will expand the opportunity to build multi-generational wealth to many more members of the world by "giving people direct, deal-by-deal access to commercial real estate, like you would buy and sell something on Amazon." To him, that mission includes a secondary market and the ability of investors to select the deals they are most interested in, at lower cost.
Williams is a fan of LSU football. He lives in Greenwich Village. He has discussed his mission as an entrepreneur of color in a field that suffers "an outsized lack of diversity" and says "I've never let anyone outwork me." In a 2019 CNN interview, he stated his goal to be judged on his performance alone: "at the end of the day, it's about results and what you're able to deliver, not about the color of your skin."
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