Side is a technology company for real estate which helps agents and independent brokerages to transform into brands and businesses. They announced raising $150 million in a recent Series D funding round.
The funding round was led by Coatue Management, which brought the valuation of Side, a business based in San Francisco, to $1 billion, along with their total raised funding amounting up to $200 billion since its inception in 2017. There was participation from pre-existing backers like Trinity Ventures, Sapphire Ventures and Matrix Partners in the new funding.
This round is noticeable as it raised a lot more than the funding gained by Side in the Series C round, which was about $35 million. Their valuation also multiplied by 7 times, when compared to the existing valuation during the Series C funding, which was $150 million.
The investments received by Side were led by Sapphire Ventures. Paul Levine, the managing director of Sapphire Ventures, joined the board of directors of the company Side after the funding.
Side succeeded to raise a revenue ranging between $30-50 million in 2020, expecting to double the outcome this year. In 2019, the company represented over $5 billion through its annual home sales, amongst all its partners. Today the community of agent partners of the company together represent over $15 million in fields of production volumes made annually.
The company Side was founded by Hilary Saunders, Edward Wu and Guy Gal, when they realized that most real estate agents are left underappreciated and underserved by the traditional models of brokerage. Their goal is to help agents who partner with them in their respective businesses, to grow their company’s productivity.
After partnering with Side, the best producing agents, independent brokerages and teams gain the full ownership of their brands, without the need to operate a brokerage. This has been made possible for the first time in the history of the real estate digital market. Gal mentioned how the company spent years over solving this problem and has been using software to bring in huge efficiency for the community of agents, in a way that hasn’t been done before. He argued how the load of existing brokerage discourages the agents from trying to become the best producers with top teams, because many of these agents are forced to pay much higher commission fees despite having fewer clients. This opens up the fact about the misalignment of incentives between the top agents and brokerages.
Top producers have the urge to differentiate and grow, but are loaded with problems from the brokerages, causing them to do lesser business under higher commission fees. Side enables individual agents to grow and scale in their brands instead of discouraging them and forcing them to compete with top producing teams and agents. At present, Side is supporting over 1500 agents who have partnered with them, coming from Florida, Texas and California.