- Placester provides websites, lead management and marketing tools to real estate professionals. The attention it's drawn from investors highlights how technology that helps agents grow their business remains an attractive sphere for venture capital.
Marking venture capital’s latest big bet on real estate tech, software provider Placester has clinched another $50 million in a Series D funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $100 million.
While the industry watches disrupter companies like Opendoor put money in the bank, the latest deal from Placester shows that investors continue to see great potential in technology that depends on the real estate agent at the center, testifying to a belief in their enduring value to consumers.
“As software plays an increasing role in the world around us, verticalized software solutions tuned to specific customer needs will increasingly drive competitive advantage; there is a large and growing opportunity ahead,” said Chetan Puttagunta, general partner of New Enterprise Associates (NEA), which led the funding round, in a statement. Past Placester investors have included Romulus Capital and Techstars.
When asked if any investors besides NEA participated in the funding round, Placester didn’t respond.
Placester will use the cash to grow its already-expansive footprint in real estate tech, with the mission of building a “unified operating system to help real estate professionals run their businesses,” Placester said in a press release. Other companies that seem to have a similar vision include Zillow Group; realtor.com owner Move; Constellation Software and Ben Kinney Companies Tech Division.
Drawing on data partnerships with hundreds of multiple listing services (MLSs), Placester provides websites, lead management and marketing tools to agents. It also powers the property-search tools of many news websites. The latest raise brings the company’s total funding to $100 million.
The round “will support our aggressive product roadmap and address the full breadth of challenges and opportunities that define the future of digital for real estate professionals,” CEO Matt Barba said in a statement.
Placester has done quite a bit of strategic maneuvering to grow its business in the last few years, including:
- Buying RealSatisfied, a customer survey service; and HomeFinder, an open house app and property-search tool provider
- Creating a platform to integrate services from other tech vendors into its products
- Inking deals with Keller Williams, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Re/Max’s largest sub-franchisor
- Rolling out out a mobile app
This has all contributed to top-line growth, with Placester posting more than 300 percent year-over-year revenue growth for the last three years, according to the company.
Placester didn’t respond when asked for an update on its industry deals and integration platform.
Placester’s “Essential” software package for agents costs $150 a month and includes a search website, lead-management system and account assistance. Its premium package, which costs $400 a month and includes a $250 setup fee, throws in content updates, lead nurturing, website reporting and a quarterly “website refresh.”
Pricing for the company’s brokerage-level system varies and includes agent websites, “lead source integration” and lead routing.