VC-backed Side expands to Florida

San Francisco-based firm raised $35M this month

From left: Donnie Pingaro and Guy Gal
From left: Donnie Pingaro and Guy Gal

On the heels of raising $35 million, a San Francisco-based brokerage that provides white-label tools to agents has set its sights on Florida.

Side, the venture-backed brokerage founded in 2017, launched in Florida this week, the company said.

Unlike traditional firms, Side offers back-office and marketing support to agents who run their own businesses.

“It’s filling the void that the top-producing brokers have been looking for from their brokerage,” said Donnie Pingaro, Side’s managing broker in Florida, who previously ran his own boutique firm. “Tech is a big word in our industry, and I’ve not really seen any brokerages that connect it from end-to-end to let brokers do what they do best.”

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Before joining Side, Pingaro said he spent a “tremendous” amount of time on back-office work for Ocean Insiders, a firm he founded in the 1990s to focus on Fisher Island real estate. Now, he said he’s able to focus on building client relationships.

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Pingaro said he’s actively talking to brokers in Miami, Tampa and Orlando, as well as in Central Florida and the Panhandle.

Side currently does yet have a physical office in Florida. Typically, the firm doesn’t open brick-and-mortar locations, although individual agents may elect to lease space for their teams, said Vicki Bartholomae, Side’s chief of agent success.

In Los Angeles, Side recently recruited Ben Bacal from Rodeo Realty. The firm currently has 500 agents in California and Texas and 68 branch offices leased by agents. Side’s agents are on track to close $8 billion in deals next year, the company said.

Earlier this month, Side announced a $35 million funding round to fuel its national expansion. The Series C was led by Sapphire Venture’s Paul Levine, a former president and COO of Trulia. The round brings Side’s total funding to $60 million since it launched in 2017.

Trinity ventures’ Patricia Nakache and Matrix Partners’ Dana Stalder also invested in the round.

Past investors have included MetaProp, the New York City-based venture investor and proptech accelerator. Last month, co-founder Clelia Peters (who is also president of Warburg Realty) joined Side’s board.