Zillow Group real estate rival Compass files for IPO, shows $3.7B in revenue for 2020

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin in 2019 after cutting the ribbon on the real estate brokerage’s tech center in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Real estate brokerage Compass filed for an IPO on Monday. The 8-year-old company reported $3.7 billion in revenue last year, up 56{28ab41d673507bfe0daf970418d2e81f9476b3e139564442359ad7402c370b16} year-over-year, with a net loss of $270 million, down from $388 million in 2019.

Compass is among a flock of real estate tech companies riding a strong U.S. housing market amid the pandemic driven by record low mortgage rates and limited supply of homes. Compass now has more than 19,000 agents across 46 U.S. markets. It estimates its total addressable market at more than $570 billion.

The company competes with Seattle real estate giants Zillow Group and Redfin, among others. They are all looking to disrupt the residential real estate business by using technology to automate how people buy and sell homes.

After some initial turbulence earlier last year due to the pandemic, shares of Zillow and Redfin have skyrocketed over the past year. Zillow is now valued at more than $40 billion, while Redfin’s market capitalization is nearly $8 billion.

Compass is headquartered in New York, but its strong ties to Seattle are numerous:

  • Last year, Compass acquired Seattle title and escrow software startup Modus, adding the 2-year-old startup and its 60 employees to its arsenal of real estate tech tools.
  • Former Amazon and Microsoft executive Joseph Sirosh serves as chief technology officer and is based in the Seattle region. And former Amazon executive Greg Hart last year joined Compass as chief product officer.
  • Compass in 2019 opened a large engineering center in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. It now employs 600 brokers in the Seattle area, along with 200 employees.

Compass has raised $1.6 billion in venture financing and was valued in 2019 at $6.4 billion after raising a $370 million round.

Zillow sued Compass in 2019 for stealing intellectual property and poaching employees; the suit was later settled.