Placester Raises $15 Million to Polish Real-Estate Agents’ Web Presence

Placester CEO Matt Barba

While technology companies like Redfin Corp. and Zillow Group Inc. do brisk business by offering tools to consumers who may be looking to buy or sell property, another startup says it is time that real-estate agents and brokers get their own sophisticated digital platforms.

Boston-based Placester Inc. has developed a marketing-automation platform that gives real-estate agents and brokers tools to build websites and mobile sites for $10 per month. The company’s service also helps the agents promote their properties through online advertising.

While consumers have been given a number of price-comparison programs, the availability maps, Yelp-like review capabilities and other digital tools, agents and brokers have been underserved, Placester Chief Executive Matthew Barba said.

“Today, consumers expect them to deliver a Facebook – or Amazon-like experience,” Mr. Barba said.

Placester’s platform gives agents a network for listing properties, as well as tools for lead management, advertising and Google AdWords. The company also offers a suite of customer-relations management software.

The company has now raised $15 million Series B round to double its head count and roll out new products.

The round was led by new investor New Enterprise Associates , joined by return investor Romulus Capital, Mr. Barba said. The company, which has also raised funding from angel backers, has raised a total of $22 million from investors, he said.

New Enterprise Associates Partner Chetan Puttagunta joined the company’s board.

The company said it would use its Series B round to grow the 50-employee company to 100, with the bulk of those hires in the sales department, the CEO said. Placester will also be rolling out new features, he said.

Other real-estate technology companies have seen recent funding from investors, according to VentureWire records.

Last month, San Francisco-based Opendoor Labs Inc., which uses technology to buy and sell homes, raised $20 million from GGV Capital , Khosla Ventures and other backers.

In December, Redfin Corp ., one of the leaders in the real-estate technology space, raised $70.9 million for its map-based search website for real estate. The company is backed by Wellington Management Co., Glynn Capital Management , Annox Capital Management, Tiger Global Management and T. Rowe Price .

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