Richard P. Blankenship Attributes His Entrepreneurial Success to His Stellar Relationships

by Thomas Herd

To some, 29-year-old Richard Blankenship is an investor, an entrepreneur, or an executive dialing in early on the Friday all-staff meetings, while others still know him as a loyal mentor and friend. Born in San Diego and now splitting his time between Las Vegas and New York City, those close to Blankenship are not surprised by the early success he has enjoyed.

Fresh out of college with a degree in Finance from San Diego State University, Blankenship’s tenacity first took him to the real estate industry. Alongside his childhood best friend Sam Simmons, Blankenship invested $10M over five years in single-family homes in the Chicago area. “We knew this was an area that needed attention and investment,” says Blankenship of their target market. “There truly is no better feeling than giving keys to a family in urgent need of a home. These were some of my proudest moments – giving those in need a dignified place to live.”

Blankenship didn’t stop with real estate, and in 2019 he launched his latest company. Prizeout, a New York City-based financial technology company, was borne of a chance encounter with co-founder David Metz. Prizeoutoffers a unique cash-out solution for individuals seeking to withdraw funds from payroll, gig economy, and insurance companies.

“I immediately recognized the scale of the opportunity,” says Blankenship. “There are trillions of dollars sitting in accounts across the world, and we can help users get more for their money by connecting them with one of our partner merchants.” Blankenship quickly funded Prizeouton a handshake deal with Metz and joined the company as Chief Revenue Officer and later as a member of the board of directors.

In December 2020, Prizeout closed a $6M Series B at a $150M pre-money valuation. Longtime mentor and fellow Prizeout board member Joe Kakaty says of Blankenship, “Richard’s sales expertise and fundraising prowess are unmatched. He has been with Prizeoutthrough each step of the journey, and I’ve been astounded at how much he has grown personally and professionally in his short career.”

With the desire to empower other entrepreneurs, Blankenship sought other early-stage investments. Many of these partnerships began as close friendships. Blankenship invested with co-worker turned friend, entrepreneur Jeff Liboon, in his childcare company, MightyKidz. Mightykidz is one of the fastest growing childcare facilities in the U.S. at #344 on the INC 5000 list. He also invested in fellow SDSU alum Steven Borelli’s direct-to-consumer clothing company, CUTS, and Triller, a U.S.-based Tik Tok rival.

In ten years Blankenship has served as Chief Revenue Officer of three companies and received Co-Founder credit in two of them. The early success has not changed Blankenship. “At the end of the day,” Blankenship says, “I want to be the first call my friends and family make when they need anything. I will always have their back just as they’ve had mine.”

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