Compass’ cost of doing business
Ahead of its buzzed-about IPO, Compass offered investors a peek at its financials via an S-1 filed March 1.
Highlights from the 263-page document include the fact that Compass took in $3.7 billion in revenue last year, four times its revenue of $884.7 million in 2018. The tech-focused resi brokerage also lost $270.2 million in 2020, down from $388 million in 2019.
But one key takeaway is how much Compass spent to grow to its current size: 19,000 agents with $151.7 billion in sales last year.
Since 2018, it’s spent more than $300 million to buy residential firms and tech. Here’s a closer look at where it’s invested the most:
? $83.3 million for Pacific Union International, a San Francisco firm with 1,700 agents and $14 billion in sales
? $70 million for Modus, a title and escrow startup
? $52.2 million for KVS Title, a title company in Washington, D.C.
? $26.1 million for Contactually, a popular customer relationship manager
? $22 million for Stribling (a NYC brokerage with 270 agents and $1.62 billion in sell-side sales), Alain Pinel Realtors (a San Francisco firm with 1,300 agents) and Detectica (an AI startup)
? $20.5 million for firms including Platinum Drive Realty (a 100-agent firm in New York), Conlon Real Estate (with 200 agents in Chicago) and Avenue Properties (with 110 agents in Seattle)
? $18.9 million for Paragon Real Estate, a San Francisco firm with 225 agents and $2.3 billion in sales
? $6 million for Lila Delman Real Estate, a 120-agent luxury firm in Rhode Island
? $2 million for Bold New York, a 120-agent rental-focused brokerage
“$52 million is a lot of money, and CoStar shareholders and customers should be asking themselves, who ultimately will be stuck with that bill?”
Opening more doors
With few homes on the market to buy, Opendoor has a new target: home buyers.
The company — whose core business is buying and selling homes — launched a program that allows buyers to make cash offers backed by Opendoor. “The market conditions right now are screaming for this,” Tom Willerer, chief product officer, told Bloomberg News.
Opendoor is already the dominant player in iBuying, and it went public last year after merging with a blank-check company backed by investor Chamath Palihapitiya.
In its first earnings call as a public company, Opendoor reported a 45 percent drop in revenue that it attributed to its pause in home-buying in the early months of the pandemic.
The company generated $2.6 billion in revenue last year, compared to $4.7 billion in 2019. It lost $286.8 million, compared to a loss of $339.2 million a year earlier.
The real reason for Doma’s $3B SPAC deal
After upending the archaic title insurance industry, Doma plans to pursue home appraisals, warranties and other “high-friction” components of buying a home.
The startup, formerly States Title, struck a deal with Mark Ein’s Capitol Investment Corp., last week. The deal values Doma at $3 billion (up from $623 million in May) and will give the startup $510 million in cash proceeds.
That’s where it gets interesting.
In an investor call, Capitol said it underwrote the deal based on Doma’s existing business.
In 2020, Doma collected $190 million in fees, and it projected that number will rise to $464 million by 2023. But CEO Max Simkoff said home appraisals and warranties are next on his list.
The pandemic accelerated demand for digital closings, he said. “Everything sped up 10 years into the future, overnight.”
And … about Hippo’s $5B IPO
Home insurance startup Hippo has scored the ultimate umbrella policy.
The six-year-old company is set to go public by merging with a blank-check company backed by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga founder Mark Pincus. The deal values Hippo at $5 billion — nearly five times its valuation in July 2020. Hippo will get $1.2 billion in cash from the IPO.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Opendoor’s stock since it began trading on Dec. 21, 2020
CoStar’s best just wasn’t good enough
CoStar’s fight for CoreLogic has ended in defeat. The bruised data giant, which spent the last few weeks trying to outbid Stone Point Capital and Insight Partners, withdrew its $7.35 billion offer, citing rising interest rates.
But … CoStar’s retreat came just hours after news leaked that CoreLogic’s board believed CoStar’s offer wasn’t good enough.
In February, CoreLogic struck a $6 billion deal with Stone Point and Insight. But CoStar swooped in with a $6.9 billion “superior” offer. On March 1, CoStar upped the offer by $450 million and gave CoreLogic 48 hours to decide.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Howard Lorber: Developer, investor and now VC
Brokerage chief Howard Lorber is trying his hand at proptech investing through a new fund, New Valley Ventures.
The fund is a subsidiary of Lorber’s Vector Group, which owns Douglas Elliman, and it will invest in early-stage proptech companies. Initial bets include a minority stake in Rechat, a CRM, and an investment in Camber Creek.
New Valley Ventures will be spearheaded by Richard Lampen, a longtime Vector exec, along with Dan Sachar and David Ballard. Lampen declined to say how much capital the VC has to spend, but confirmed it will be funded by Vector.
?SmartRent, a startup that develops “smart home” hardware, raised $31M in strategic funding from investors including Lennar.
?Ecomedes, which brings sustainable supplies to the construction business, raised a $3.25M seed round led by Microsoft’s M12.
?Mortgage company Rocket Cos. surged 71 percent to $41.60 on March 2, after reddit user Wall Street Bets called out the stock.
? JLL acquired a stake in Roofstock, a marketplace for single-family rentals.
?Mosaic, a construction tech startup that turns blueprints into step-by-step plans, tapped Mervin Singson as CFO.
? Realogy expanded its iBuying program RealSure to Atlanta.
?Knock, which pre-funds mortgages to allow sellers to buy homes before selling their old ones, has expanded to 23 markets, including 11 since the start of 2021. It says it’s on track to hit 75 markets by 2023.
⭐Elon Musk wants to build a dog-friendly city called Starbase in Texas.