Brazilian startup Loft raises $175M Series C to reinvent the residential real estate market across Latin America
The residential real estate market in Latin America is a $6 trillion (USD) opportunity. However, lack of data transparency and a consolidated marketplace contributes to low-quality and redundant listings, high-asking prices and exceedingly long-sell times, creating a painful experience for buyers, sellers and brokers. Enter Loft, a Brazilian startup that is simplifying the buying and selling of residential real estate via its digital real estate platform.
Today, Loft announced it has closed $175M in Series C funding to support strategic expansion into new Latin American markets and additional product categories. The round was co-led by Vulcan Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from QED Investors, Fifth Wall Ventures, Thrive Capital, Valor Capital, Monashees and others. Loft started 2019 with 100 employees and has grown to more than 450, with plans to reach over 550 by the first quarter of 2020.
Founded in 2018 by a group of serial entrepreneurs and experienced executives, including Founders and Co-CEOs Mate Pencz and Florian Hagenbuch, Loft’s digital platform simplifies the purchase and sale of apartments by bringing improved organization, data and efficiency to the residential real estate market. By combining real transaction data with a proprietary machine learning model, Loft is able to price every apartment in its markets at the unit level, increasing liquidity and transparency for buyers and sellers.
“We’re aiming to reinvent the way people move homes by building the most consumer-focused real estate marketplace,” said Loft founder and co-CEO Mate Pencz. “Our latest round of funding, which includes several previous investors and new ones, shows that global growth investors recognize the massive market opportunity in residential real estate across emerging markets and are confident in the long-term viability and scalability of our tech-enabled platform to power real estate transactions efficiently.”
Since its founding, Loft has raised equity capital of approximately $275 million (USD) from angel investors such as Max Levchin of PayPal, Joe Lonsdale of Palantir, Mike Krieger of Instagram and David Vélez of Nubank; global venture capital investors such as Vulcan Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Fifth Wall Ventures, QED Investors and Thrive Capital; and local funds such as Monashees, Valor Capital and Canary. Loft is the first and only investment in Latin America for Vulcan Capital and the first and only Brazilian investment for Andreessen Horowitz.
“Loft’s exponential growth over the past year makes it clear that there is a massive need in the real estate industry for more transparency and efficiency,” said Alex Rampell, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “We see Loft’s technology-enabled approach as a significant investment opportunity, particularly in rapidly-growing emerging markets like Latin America, and we’re thrilled to be expanding our funding to help bring the company’s innovative platform to more markets across the region.”
Rafael Costa, general partner at Vulcan Capital, added: “Loft is creating a consolidated source of truth on inventory and transaction prices that has, until now, been fundamentally missing from the Latin American real estate market. This, together with Loft’s highly accurate and intelligent pricing tools, is transforming real estate transactions and providing a truly unmatched customer experience for sellers, agents and buyers.”
Loft generated over $150M (USD) in annualized revenues in its first full year of operation and, in 2019 alone, transacted on over 1,000 properties. The company plans to use the latest round of funding to expand across both Brazil and Latin America, starting with Rio de Janeiro in the first quarter of 2020, Mexico City in the second quarter and several other cities soon after. In December, Loft hired former Director of Regional Operations at UberEats in Latin America, Juan Pablo Ramos, as General Manager of the company’s Mexico operations.