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$2.5bn startup disrupting estate agents readies IPO

Just three months after securing a $1bn valuation, Side has raised more than $50m in a Series D funding round as it sets the stage to go public.

The San Francisco-based unicorn competes directly with established real estate companies by partnering with agents, teams and independent brokerages to “transform them into leading boutique brands and businesses”.

Side develops business plans and provides the tech and expertise for individuals and small teams, allowing the agents to focus purely on client services and sales.

Powered by a “white-label technology brokerage platform”, the startup handles marketing, brand development, system implementation, listing co-ordination, legal, insurance and office space for its users.

The idea is to give successful independent agents full control of a business while streamlining processes with Side’s software.

Led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from ICONIQ Capital and D1 Capital Partners, the fundraise values Side at $2.5bn. The startup said it is now backed by three “top technology IPO underwriters” as it prepares for a public listing – although it has yet to reveal specific dates.

Side plans to expand into 15 new states and expects to close more than $20bn in home sales by the end of 2021. Operating in California, Texas and Florida, the startup said it had a 200% increase in sales in the last year.

Guy Gal, co-founder and CEO of Side, said: “Today’s financing signifies confidence in our vision to reinvent the traditional brokerage model by partnering with the very best real estate agents to create boutique brands that are the service leaders in their market.

“We are excited to partner with more agents across the country, increase investment in our existing agent partnership and further support more top real estate professionals in serving buyers, sellers and renters better than anyone else from coast to coast.”

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