San-Francisco based real estate technology startup Side announced this week that it has raised more than $50 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management. The latest round more than doubled Side’s valuation to $2.5 billion, putting the startup in an ideal position as it plans for an IPO. ICONIQ Capital and D1 Capital Partners also participated in the funding.
Founded by Guy Gal, Edward Wu and Hilary Saunders, Side offers a new model to real estate agents and independent brokerages. The three came together to create Side to respond to what they see as deficiencies in the traditional brokerage model, which leaves agents “underserved and under-appreciated.”
“The way to think about Side is the way you think about what Shopify does for e-commerce […] When partnering with Side, top-producing agents, teams and independent brokerages, for the first time in history, gain full ownership of their own brand and business without having to operate a brokerage,” said Gal.
Gal believes that a fundamental flaw in the existing brokerage system is that agents are not adequately incentivized to become top producers. “Side,” notes Gal, “rather than discouraging and competing with top-producing agents and teams, enables them to grow and scale their own business and brand.”
The response to Side’s alternative path for agents has been overwhelmingly positive. In March, Side raised $150 million in a Series D funding round led by Coatue Management. According to the startup, Side earned between $30 million and $50 million in revenue during 2020, and anticipates it will double its revenue at the end of 2021.
Side offers technology and support to 1,800 partner agents in California, Texas and Florida, and plans to brings its services to 15 new states by the end of 2021.