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Zillow Co-Founder Spencer Rascoff Has A New Billion-Dollar Startup

Spencer Rascoff


Spencer Rascoff is a well-known serial tech entrepreneur with several successes to his name. Early in his entrepreneurial career, he founded Hotwire.com, an internet travel startup that sold to InterActiveCorp (now IAC) for nearly $700 million. He then co-founded Zillow which grew to become the leading online real estate platform in the US.

Rascoff stepped down from Zillow in April 2020 and apparently still had the entrepreneurial bug biting him hard despite his previous successes. He moved to form two new companies, tech news site dot.LA and real estate startup Pacaso, which's where it gets interesting.

Barely five months after launching, Pacaso has said that it's raised a $75 million equity round valuing it at an unprecedented $1 billion. Take note that this is a startup that's existed for only five months. 

Pacaso said it closed a $75 million equity round alongside a $1 billion debt round for its business. The equity round was led by VC firms Greycroft and Global Founders Capital, with participation from other investors including former Amazon SVP Jeff Wilke. 
  • Armed with new capital, Pacaso says it'll expand into more markets. The company has a business that it sells as "democratizing second home ownership", basically as a platform for people to pool their money to purchase second homes as co-owners. 
  • Pacaso has a marketplace offering second homes for its customers to pool money together to purchase, usually upscale homes in desirable locations. If a property is acquired through its platform, Pacaso takes care of its management on behalf of its owners with the creation of LLCs and other complementary tasks like furnishings, repairs, and utilities.
  • Simply put, if you're dreaming of owning a second home but don't have the funds to purchase one outright, you can pool your funds with up to 8 people to purchase one via Pacaso. Then with a share of an upscale second home, you get to visit the property like it's yours at scheduled times.
  • Pacaso is still in its early stages but has homes listed in over a dozen upscale areas including Napa, Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, Malibu, and Park City. It's obvious that the company needs to expand much more to justify a business valued at $1 billion.
  • Along with its new funding round, Pacaso also announced that it's hired a Chief Financial Officer who's a veteran real estate executive. It's Nina Tran, the former CFO of single-family homes rental giant Starwood Waypoint.

Definitely, Rascoff has placed his face on the Mount Rushmore of the real estate tech world.

Photo credit: Fortune Conferenceslicensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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