New York City real estate firm Compass is another.
In September, Compass raised $400 million in a series F round led by the Vision Fund and Qatar Investment Authority, valuing the start-up at $4.4 billion. That’s double the valuation fetched at the prior round in December 2017. Consistent with financial backer Masa Son, Compass CEO Robert Reffkin is thinking big. In June, Reffkin told Bloomberg: “What books were for Amazon, the brokerage model is for us.”
Compass, which began the year with 30 offices, will finish the year with 150 and reach 300 locations by the end of next year, according to chief growth officer Rob Lehman. On Nov. 29, The Real Deal reported that Compass is launching a company-branded credit card for its real estate agents, who can pay back their charges on their “own timelines,” according to Lehman. In October, The Real Deal reported on another generous perk for agents: a company stock option program which provides for a 30% bonus for every dollar invested back in Compass. The company reported last month that more than 1,000 agents have invested some or all of their commissions back into the unicorn, a development that CEO Reffkin described thusly:
It’s not something we needed to do to raise capital. It’s purely an offering to respond to an agent’s desire to have ownership in Compass’ future success.
Three weeks ago, Compass hired Carlyle Group veteran Kristen Ankerbrandt as chief financial officer to help oversee what Reffkin termed the company’s “next stage of hypergrowth.” Ankerbrandt replaces Craig Anderson, who was on the job for just seven months.
For a detailed analysis of SoftBank, see the Nov. 30 edition of Grant’s.