SoftBank Vision Fund invests $450m in US real estate tech startup Compass

SoftBank’s $97-billion Vision Fund is investing $450 million in Compass, a real estate technology company, in what is claimed to be the largest real estate tech investment in the US.

Last month, Compass had raised $100 million in a Series E round from Fidelity Investments, IVP, Wellington Management, and other global investors. The latest round takes the total funding raised by the company to $775 million and its post-money valuation to $2.2 billion.

Founded in 2012 by Ori Allon and Robert Reffkin, Compass provides a platform for home buyers, sellers and real estate agents to navigate the process of finding or selling a home. It currently operates in 11 regions across the United States.

“Real estate is a huge asset class, but the sector has been relatively untouched by technology and remains inefficient and fragmented,” said Justin Wilson, a senior investment professional at the SoftBank Vision Fund.

In a statement, Compass said it will use the latest infusion of capital to expand to every major U.S. city and increase its investment in technology to further empower Compass agents and their clients.

“With the support of the SoftBank Vision Fund, we will be able to move quickly to execute our ‘Compass Everywhere’ vision, partnering with top agents and their clients in every major U.S. city,” said founder and executive chairman Allon.

Other notable funding rounds by the massive SoftBank Vision Fund include a $4.4-billion joint investment with the SoftBank group in co-working space giant WeWork, around $2.5 billion in India’s e-commerce major Flipkart, and a $1.4-billion round in India’s One97 Communications, which operates leading digital payments platform Paytm and e-commerce firm Paytm E-Commerce.

While the nearly $100-billion Vision Fund, which has not been formally closed yet, is already the biggest venture fund in history, SoftBank Group chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son seems to be only getting started. He recently confirmed his plans of raising a series of multi-billion-dollar funds in the near future, saying that the $100 billion Vision Fund was not enough.

In a recent interview with The Nikkei Asian Review, Son said, “The Vision Fund was just the first step, 10 trillion yen ($88 billion) is simply not enough.” He said he expects these series of mega funds to invest in at least 1,000 companies within 10 years.

Investors in the Vision Fund include sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as tech giants including Apple, Qualcomm and Sharp.