Compass hired away four of the top executives – and two co-founders – from the apartment search and review startup VeryApt, to bring their tech development team to more than 150 employees and bring the company closer to its ultimate goal of building a comprehensive end-to-end real estate platform.
The company confirmed to Inman it “acquihired,” Ashrit Kamireddi, CEO and co-founder; Scott Bierbryer, COO and co-founder; Ross Bierbryer, chief architect and Andris Zvargulis, president of business development and analytics. Only co-founder and chief technical officer Andrew Mackowski remains as a member of the leadership team.
Eytan Seidman, Compass’ head of product, called the hires, “a fantastic set of entrepreneur-founders.”
“They have a lot of know-how already in real estate and in the space, they were more focused on rentals, but still understand the market, understand the dynamic really well,” Seidman said. “You have talented entrepreneurs who also have a lot of domain expertise.”
Seidman told Inman that they acquired just the team behind the app, not the actual app. Compass made offers to, in a group, the set of employees but the business was not part of the transaction.
The New York City-founded real estate brokerage also recently acquired the 20-person technical team from Spring, an e-commerce app that was separately acquired on the same day by ShopRunner, another e-commerce platform.
“They were just a great culture fit and a great technical team,” Seidman said, of the Spring technical team acquisition. “What we found in spring was a fantastic set of engineers who were passionate about commerce and like I said, a really great cultural fit.”
Between the two moves, Compass brought on 25 employees that Seidman said can immediately integrate into the Compass technical team, which is now north of 150 employees. The new hires are already working on both the buy-side and sell-side of agent technology – one of the hired VeryApt engineers is already working on the recently announced Facebook ad campaign platform.
“We can have them start working on efforts that were already in a flow and building that end-to-end platform,” said Seidman.
Seidman said Compass doesn’t have anything new to announce at this time, but it’s listening to agents, hearing their feedback, doing research and building solutions around that research and feedback.
An example of that, according to Seidman, is Compass’ marketing center. When it was launched in July 2017, it was just print materials, like postcards. Then Compass created social collateral in October 2017, so agents could add branded marketing images to Instagram and Facebook. It added email marketing in June 2018, then recently added the automated Facebook advertising campaigns.
Compass recently received an additional $400 million in venture capital money and said it planned to use part of that money to double down on its technology development. The funding round helps them in that effort to acquire top talent towards building that platform.
“Compass is in a great place that it has access to capital – plenty of capital,” Seidman said. “We have the ability to go hire the talent that we need to. The most recent fundraise just continues that ability.”
Compass also announced it’s expanding into the greater Palm Springs market with Valery Neuman and her team of six agents, who were previously operating under the brokerage Finest Luxury Real Estate. Neuman has closed in excess of $1 billion during her real estate career,
Inman reached out to VeryApt for comment on the hires and will update the story if the startup responds. Compass declined to disclose the financials behind the recent hires.