Morning Report: What the hell is going on?
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This morning two funding rounds caught my eye: Compass, a tech-enabled real estate play, raised $400 million. And, Opendoor, a tech-enabled real estate play, raised $400 million.
That’s a lot of money. A few months ago I wrote a short piece noting that a number of companies had announced $100 million or greater rounds in quick succession. I didn’t expect we’d quickly repeat the post with the minimum dollar amount quadrupled.
Let’s get to the news.
Our first company is Compass, a New York-based firm that uses a digital platform and agents to sell your home, or sell you a home. The
company’s website claims over 2,750 agents, and over 60 offices company told Crunchbase News that it has 6,000 agents and 165 offices and calls itself a “private luxury real estate brokerage.”
According to TechCrunch, its $400 million infusion values the firm at $4.4 billion. SoftBank’s Vision Fund and the Qatar Investment Authority shared round leadership.
The company has been on a fundraising tear lately. Today’s $400 million follows a $450 million round closed last December and a $100 million around a month before that. Compass has also raised a $75 million Series D, a $60 million Series C, a $40 million Series B, a $25 million Series A, and a huge $8 million seed round. All since 2012.
How has the firm managed to raise so much, so quickly? TechCrunch has an idea: “The company cleared $34 billion in sales in 2018 ($14.8 billion in 2017) and is on track to make $1 billion in revenues.” The same article notes that M&A did drive some of that revenue growth.
Regardless, Compass has raised nearly $1 billion in under a year.
Opendoor raised $400 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund, it announced today. That’s a dollar amount and investing lead just like Compass’s own round.
And just like Compass, it has another nine-figure raise inside the last year: $325 million from a number of investors including General Atlantic a few months back in June.
Unlike Compass, however, the firm isn’t worth $4 billion or more. Per TechCrunch, the firm is worth north of $2 billion, but, presumably, not more than $3 billion. So, perhaps the Vision Fund got something akin to a deal.
Here’s how our friends describe the company: “To date, Opendoor, which now employs roughly 950 people, has largely been working with people who need to sell their homes quickly because of a new job or other life event. But the company increasingly wants to help customers buy that next house, too.”
That sounds familiar! Unless It’s too early, and I should stop writing and drink more espresso, the Vision Fund has just made twin wagers into essentially competing companies, at the same time, for the same full-round dollar amount.
I don’t get it. Private investors aren’t supposed to invest in competing companies. Perhaps you could argue that they don’t compete in some fashion or another, but, please. This is all a bit weird.
It’s another day of insane capital deployment at a place that is hard to keep track of. And as always, this is either all rather brilliant in a manner that’s hard to see, or it’s as reckless as it seems.
Top Image Credit: Li-Anne Dias.
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