SoftBank invests $450m in real estate tech company Compass

The funding will be used by the company to expand its footprint into additional major cities in the US.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

Compass, a New York-based real estate technology company, has announced that it will receive a $450 million investment from Japan's SoftBank, calling it the "largest real estate technology investment in US history".

The new investment, coming from SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund, will take the total amount raised by the company to $775 million, and its post-money valuation to $2.2 billion. Compass' other investors include Goldman Sachs, soon-to-leave American Express CEO Ken Chenault, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Institutional Venture Partners, and large property developer LeFrak.

The company, which raised $100 million from Fidelity last month, said it will use the new funds to expand into all major cities in the US -- it currently operates in 11 cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, Miami, Orange County, The Hamptons, Santa Barbara and Montecito, and Aspen -- while boosting its own investment in technology.

Founded in 2012 by Ori Allon and Robert Reffkin, Compass provides a two-sided platform for real estate agents and home buyers that supports the "entire" real estate buying and selling workflow.

"Real estate is a huge asset class, but the sector has been relatively untouched by technology and remains inefficient and fragmented," Justin Wilson, a senior investment professional at the SoftBank Vision Fund, said in a statement.

"Compass is building a differentiated, end-to-end tech platform that aggregates across diverse data streams to support agents and home buyers through the entire process, well beyond the initial home search ... Compass is well positioned for future growth in a sector that represents trillions in transaction volume."

Over the last 24 months, Compass claims it increased its real estate agent base by 500 percent, and is expecting to round out the current calendar year with 16,000 transactions valued at $14 billion.

Compass, to varying degrees, competes with companies such as Homes.com, Redfin, Trulia, and Zillow.

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