Real estate & property tech

Real Estate Tech Startup Place Raises $100M Series A Round At $1B Valuation

Illustration of a hand holding a house made of money.

Proptech startup Place raised $100 million in a Series A round led by Goldman Sachs, the company said Wednesday.

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Place is a tech and business services platform for real estate agents. The company, which was founded by Ben Kinney and Chris Suarez in 2020, takes care of tasks like accounting, hiring, training and digital advertising so real estate professionals can focus on real estate transactions.

“We want to take everything off their plate so they can do what they’re best at, which is helping people buy and sell real estate,” Kinney said in an interview with Crunchbase News.

Place provides top real estate agents with their tech needs and covers costs of services it performs for the agent’s business. Place then shares a percentage of the profits (the percentages vary).

The Bellingham, Washington-based company started off as a software-only business, but later expanded into professional services.

“We wanted to build a platform that combined software with the business services agents need to run a business,” Kinney said.

While the company may sound similar to another real estate platform–Compass–there are a few key differences. Compass is also a brokerage, whereas Place has more of a network of agents across brokerages. Place doesn’t want to compete with brokerages, Kinney said, and works with agents from all kinds of brokerages. Most brokerages don’t provide accounting, bookkeeping and legal help for agents, while Place is focused on providing tech and services.

The company has a presence in more than 100 major markets in the United States and Canada, and is expected to end the year with around $150 million in top-line revenue, an increase of about 100 percent from last year, Kinney said.

Place plans on using the funding to ramp up hiring, invest in technology that makes it easier for customers to get mortgages and buy real estate, and expand its consumer services, such as mortgage, title and insurance. The company has around 300 employees, but wants to grow its team to between 750 and 1,000 employees in the next 18 to 24 months.

Goldman Sachs led the funding round, and part of the reason the firm wanted to invest was because Place built its software first and saw “strong commercial traction selling it standalone under the Brivity brand,” Paul Pate, a vice president in the growth equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said in an email. The Brivity suite of real estate tools was also founded by Kinney.

At the same time, top agents need more than just software; they need a full-stack offering that fully abstracts away the complexity of running a business,” Pate wrote. “We were encouraged by a full-stack business with clear validation of its technology on a standalone basis.”

3L Capital also participated in the funding round, which brings Place’s valuation to $1 billion. 

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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