Agent services platform Place hits unicorn status with Series A

Startup raised $100M in funding round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management

National /
Nov.November 17, 2021 05:58 PM
Place co-founders Ben Kinney and Chris Suarez (iStock, Place)

Place co-founders Ben Kinney and Chris Suarez (iStock, Place)

Place, an end-to-end technology and business services platform for real estate agents, has achieved unicorn status with its first funding round.

The Bellingham, Washington-based startup raised $100 million in a Series A round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s growth equity business at a valuation of more than $1 billion. The company had not previously raised any external financing.

3L Capital also participated in the Series A.

Launched last year by Ben Kinney and Chris Suarez, Place offers software and business services for agents that range from administrative support and human resources to marketing, branding and accounting.

The platform resembles the technology offered by Compass, but Place is not a brokerage so much as a network among brokerages, providing legal and accounting services that franchises often do not.

Place targets the top 20 percent of agents in a given market, who Suarez said experience significant costs and other challenges when transitioning from entrepreneurs to business owners. It’s this top segment of agents that handle the majority of transactions today, he said.

“Consumers are consistently choosing to work with those top teams because they offer specialized and more consistent service,” Suarez said in an interview. “We see the majority of the industry needing to go that way.”

Place is set up to work with any brokerage, large or small. The company currently counts three of the nation’s top five franchise brokerages as clients, Suarez claimed. It covers the costs of its services in exchange for a percentage of the profits agents generate using them.

The platform was profitable in its first year of operation, he added, declining to share specifics. TechCrunch reported Wednesday that Place generated $11 million in profit last year on $85 million in revenue.

Place has more than 300 employees and a presence in over 100 markets in the U.S. and Canada, including Chicago and Miami. It wants to grow its headcount to up to 1,000 in two years’ time.

Both Kinney and Suarez are 20-year real estate veterans who each own and operate Keller Williams franchises in several markets.

“The tech was built by us while we built real estate teams — operating and growing these massive businesses that needed solutions,” Suarez said.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Eric Gordon
    Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
    Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
    Big Tech locations in NYC
    MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
    MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
    Chinese President Xi Jinping (Getty)
    Chinese regulators ease some real estate controls
    Chinese regulators ease some real estate controls
    (iStock)
    Rents in New York and South Florida metros surged more than 30%, led nationwide rise
    Rents in New York and South Florida metros surged more than 30%, led nationwide rise
    Donald Trump (Getty)
    Pandemic dashed one-quarter of Trump’s NYC retail tenants
    Pandemic dashed one-quarter of Trump’s NYC retail tenants
    NYC hotels hoping for holiday business swell likely to be disappointed
    NYC hotels hoping for holiday business swell likely to be disappointed
    NYC hotels hoping for holiday business swell likely to be disappointed
    Princeton proud: Eric Schmidt reportedly bidding to save club
    Princeton proud: Eric Schmidt reportedly bidding to save club
    Princeton proud: Eric Schmidt reportedly bidding to save club
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...