Rook Capital CEO Ed Messman Shares His Vision

March 2, 2022

{{Fifteenth in the Real People as Entrepreneurs Series}

I met Ed Messman by luck; or perhaps I met him because of his industriousness and gregarious nature. Either way, I’m the better for it.

A short while ago, I got an email from Ed- he had just read an article I wrote on the Housing Ecosystem. He evinced great interest in the notion that American families with equity in their homes (and otherwise with very little by way of liquid assets) should have choices- both to be able to use that equity for important life matters but also to be able to participate in the appreciation of real estate in small, measured ways.  That interest- an interest born of his heart- got him thinking about a company that could help just such families. He got together with long-time friend and business partner Kevin Cawley, a consummate technologist, ideated.  Kevin had also been thinking about the space and had formed the basis of the offering; together they kneaded the idea and molded it into Rook Capital as we know it today.

Ed has spent 25 years in venture capital and private equity-backed technology companies. He has seen small companies take shape and get acquired and worked for and with some of the largest companies in the world. All along the way, he was fixated on the problems that could be solved and the direct application of products and services to the lives of real people.

Even a short chat with Ed reveals this side of him- that of a human first and everything else after. He manifests that in his personal life with his wife and children (and extended family and friends) and also in his entrepreneurial efforts, which are meant to open new vistas to the millions of people who aren’t quite served by the systems of record.

Ed is clear that this doesn’t mean that everything has to be “disruptive.” He acknowledges that in all sectors- Housing included- “traditional” companies and channels have a lot of value to add, that years of regulation, legislation, and activism have created possibilities. “Enhancement” is the key, says Ed, “...We aim to enhance the current marketplace with technology and innovative business designs that we hope can include sectors of the population not included before and which accord with the desires and needs of the new generation.”

Rook Capital has created a “Shared Value Mortgage” that allows for liquidity for the homeowner- at no cost- in exchange for allowing investors to participate in the possible upside in the equity of the home. It allows for people who would normally have little or no chance to buy a home to participate in the upside of the booming real estate market. And finally, it allows for “entrances and exits” in the crypto-space, allowing another multi-trillion dollar asset class to be trained on Housing.

Rook Capital is one to watch. So is Ed Messman, an authentic leader and entrepreneur who sees both the trees and the forest.

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