Compass’ C-suite gets IPO-ready
Compass overhauled its C-suite and reorganized key departments ahead of what’s the most anticipated IPO of a residential brokerage in years.
With 18,000 agents on its roster, the New York brokerage also has 2,000 employees nationwide. Founded in 2012, Compass has raised $1.5 billion from investors and recently hired bankers for a potential public offering.
Since the departure of COO Maëlle Gavet last year, eight C-level executives report to co-founder and CEO Robert Reffkin. Co-founder and chairman Ori Allon doesn’t have direct reports. Here are some of the newbies (and a few familiar names) calling the shots.
🧭Joseph Sirosh, chief technology officer, oversees Compass’ engineers. He joined in 2018 from Microsoft, where he was chief technology officer of AI.
🧭Greg Hart, chief product officer, joined in April 2020 after 23 years at Amazon, where he most recently headed Prime Video.
🧭 Kristen Ankerbrandt, chief financial officer, joined in 2018 after 12 years at the Carlyle Group and, before that, Goldman Sachs.
🧭 Rob Lehman, chief business officer, is a former McKinsey associate who joined Compass five months after the company launched in 2013. He oversees the firm’s new regional presidents and their brokerage operations.
🧭 Matt Rosenberg, chief revenue officer, joined in 2018 after a similar role at Eventbrite. He oversees agent recruitment, growth and onboarding.
🧭 Anand Mehta, chief people officer (focused on employees, not agents), joined in August from Bridgewater Associates.
🧭 Mike Coscetta, chief sales and strategic officer, joined in 2018 from Square. He oversees programs like bridge lending and new development marketing.
🧭 Brad Serwin, general counsel, joined in May after five years as GC at Glassdoor.
Click here to see a more complete map of the firm’s leaders.
“When I came to San Francisco, I was taken
by the unique culture — people believed almost anything was possible,
and they were willing to believe in a 26 year old and his two friends with a crazy idea
to let strangers live together.”
CoStar, the FTC and NYC
The FTC may be trying to block CoStar’s $588 million deal to buy RentPath. But that didn’t stop it from rubber-stamping the data giant’s $250 million acquisition of Homesnap.
Maryland-based Homesnap, which is on track to generate $40 million this year, works with multiple listing services around the country, acting as a front-end portal for agents. It now has a deal with the Real Estate Board of New York to build a consumer-facing site. In other words: The CoStar-Homesnap deal will let CoStar take on Zillow and its New York City subsidiary, StreetEasy.
REBNY is pulling out the stops to make sure that happens. This week, it sent a cease-and-desist letter to tech developer Michael Gabriel and partner RealPlus, just days before they were set to launch a new listings site called homes.nyc. The letters accused them of using listings data without permission, though Gabriel said that wasn’t the case. “We are forging forward,” he said, “one way or another.”
NYC’s proptech play
New York City is doubling down on proptech.
As one of the biggest property owners in the Tri-state area, the city issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a partner to recommend startups to pilot throughout its portfolio, including public housing.
Last year, the city announced the pilot program. A key focus is to make buildings healthier and more efficient, and to make sure innovations aren’t limited to luxury real estate.
“We want proptech to be aimed at and used for a lot of the problems for residential buildings across the board, especially many of the older buildings, where detecting a leak and detecting energy efficiency can really make a difference,” Vicki Been, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, told Commercial Observer.
Breather runs out of air
A month after exploring a sale, Breather is looking to shed all 400 of its office locations.
The Montreal startup, which rents out office space by the day, laid off most of its staff. “I’m not sure [the business model] ever made sense,” CEO Bryan Murphy told the Globe and Mail. His new vision for Breather is to become an online marketplace for flex-office space.
Founded in 2012, Breather raised $112 million from investors. In October, it pivoted to a membership model to stabilize rocky finances. It later hired investment bankers to explore options including a capital raise or sale.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Funds raised in tech IPOs in 2020, per Dealogic
Can you say, compliance
Industrious is getting its ducks in order for an IPO. And by ducks, we mean C-level executives.
The flex-office startup hired Clem Turner from Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi as its new head of legal. He joins newly-appointed CFO Greg Barber, an ex-PepsiCo exec. “The stakes are so high in this industry,” CEO Jamie Hodari told Bloomberg.
Industrious, a WeWork rival, added Mary Hogan Preusse as its first female board member this year. Industrious has raised $220 million from Brookfield, Canada Pension Plan and other investors.
Insurance startup founded by industry vets raises $40M
There’s nothing sexy about homeowners insurance. Except maybe the flood of capital pouring into startups like Lemonade, Hippo … and now Openly.
The Boston-based startup raised a $40 million Series B, led by Advance Partners, just six months after closing a $15 million Series A.
Openly was founded in 2017 by Ty Harris, Liberty Mutual’s former chief product officer, and Matt Wielbut, who worked at Elements Insurance. Openly provides data and tech that lets insurance agents underwrite policies in seconds. “We at Openly recognize the massive opportunity that exists to challenge incumbents and improve insurance,” Harris said in a statement.
And the sector is hot: SoftBank-backed Lemonade raised $319 million in an IPO this summer. Last month, Hippo raised $350 million in venture capital from Japanese insurance giant Mitsui Sumitomo.
🎉Opendoor and Chamath Palihapitiya’s blank-check company officially merged; the company will start trading under “OPEN” on Nasdaq on Dec. 21.
🏠Move Inc., parent to Realtor.com, acquired Avail, a software for do-it-yourself landlords.
💻 Forbes and L.A. broker Jeff Hyland launched a luxury listings portal.
👨Greg Smithies, former partner at BMW i Ventures joined Fifth Wall as a partner on the climate tech team.
👩 Flyhomes, a startup that lets people make cash offers on homes, hired ex-Facebook executive Amy Sellers as VP of marketing.
🛠India’s Infra.Market, a marketplace for construction materials, logistics and financing support, raised $20M from Accel, Tiger Global, Nexus and others.
💰 LendingHome, which makes bridge loans and loans to investors to purchase rental properties, raised a $75 million Series E. Michael Bourque was tapped as CEO, replacing co-founder Matt Humphrey.
🌬 OpenSensors, an air monitoring startup in London, raised $4M in seed money.
🛰 Iris Automation, a construction drone startup, raised $13M.
🏠 Cove, a Southeast Asia co-living company, raised $4.6M.