Real estate startup Compass nabs $100M at a $1.8B valuation



Today, the real-estate startup Compass is announcing that it has raised another $100 million — money that it plans to use to expand its sales and rental listings service to every major city in the U.S., as well as build new CRM technology to integrate client, listings and transactions data. The Series E values the company at a whopping $1.8 billion.

Compass had over $100 million in the bank before the raise, so this is about “really aggressive growth,” Chairman Ori Allon told TechCrunch in an interview. The company is in 10 regions in the U.S. currently (these cover major metros like New York, Boston, Miami, Washington, and LA). In the next 12 months it will reach 10 more on top of that.

The funding comes from new investor Fidelity Investments, as well as previous investors IVP and Wellington Management — who respectively led its Series C ($50 million) and Series D ($75) investments. It brings the company’s total investments to $325 million.

Compass has come a long way since we first reported on the company when it was still in stealth mode (and called Urban Compass) and was not revealing too many details about how it had ambitions to shake up how people find places to live in cities. Fast forward several months, and a business began to emerge out of a large trove of ideas: leveraging search technology to help pair people with places that perfect fit their needs, and then provide more details to help them better evaluate neighborhoods and living in them.

Co-founded by Allon, an ex-head of engineering at Twitter (who was also a significant search engineer at Google; he came to both companies by way of acquisitions of his previous companies), the company today has seen some significant growth in its business of listing apartments and homes to rent or buy.

“Safe as houses”, the mantra that points to how many see the real estate market to be one of the more solid investments you can make, may have taken a major hit with the sub-prime mortgage crisis engulfed the financial indsutry. But houses and tech aimed at helping people engage better with the housing market remains a hot area, and Compass’s funding comes amid a lot of growth at the company.

Over the last 24 months, Compass saw its agent population grow by 500 percent, while the company says it is on track to complete 16,000 transactions and over $14 billion in sales this year, with over $350 million in annual revenue.

The move to CRM is interesting for the company in that it’s creating a new revenue stream beyond the basic transacting around properties by moving into services for others in the industry. “There is so much data that you can leverage,” Allon said.

More to come.



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