Placester Adds $15M to Expand in Real Estate Marketing
One of the Boston area’s fast-growing software startups is making progress in real estate marketing. Placester says today it has raised a $15 million Series B round, which brings its total funding to about $23 million.
The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (a new investor), and previous investor Romulus Capital also participated. Placester CEO and co-founder Matt Barba says the company will grow from 50 to 100 employees in the next year.
Placester went through the Techstars Boston accelerator program in 2011 and developed software for real estate agents to run their own websites. It started out with a monthly subscription model, but has since moved into the more lucrative advertising and marketing realm.
The company provides software that helps real estate agents and brokers not only list properties but also use marketing tools through Facebook and Google AdWords. As of last year, the company was also targeting local media publishers to host property listings.
Placester’s approach to real estate is very different from that of bigger names like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia, which have become destination sites for a national audience. But real estate professionals spend billions of dollars a year on marketing, so there is a clear opportunity.
The startup “addresses a dire need in this massive market by helping agents and brokers make this shift to digital without having to become IT professionals,” says Chetan Puttagunta, a partner at NEA who has joined Placester’s board along with his colleague Ravi Viswanathan.