Proptech Firm Agora Closes $20 Million Series A Round
Real estate investment management startup to use funding to grow its tech and U.S. business
Israel-based Agora, a real estate investment management proptech startup, announced on Wednesday that it had closed a $20 million Series A round. The funding will be used to grow the company’s technology and headcount in the U.S.
The round was led by Manhattan-based global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners, with participation from Aleph, an Israel-based venture capital firm. Agora closed the round in three weeks, said Bar Mor, CEO and co-founder of Agora.
The fintech/proptech SaaS startup was founded in late 2019 in Tel Aviv and raised $9 million in previous funding rounds, Mor said. Along with further building out its tech platform, the newly raised funding will go toward tripling the five-member staff in its Manhattan office, he added.
The company provides customizable, secure software that helps real estate firms automate their back-office processes and increase operational efficiency. Agora automates fundraising, investment management, reporting, payments, document sharing and tax operations.
Having come from a real estate family with a public company on the Israeli stock exchange, and with a tech background from his service in the Israeli military’s cyber intelligence unit, Mor said he saw massive inefficiencies in real estate development investment management and financial operations. He set out to address the dysfunction through Agora’s software platform.
“We help these companies streamline all the communication interactions with their investors, including reporting money transfers, secure document sharing, helping them manage their KYC [know your customer] and AML [anti-money laundering],” said Mor. “We also handle the onboarding processes when they are bringing new investors to their deals and all the back office financial investor relations work.”
Although other proptech companies are addressing these issues, Mor says Agora’s approach is unique.
“The majority of [competitors] are what we call the one size fits all — one software that fits real estate, VC, private equity, hedge funds, family offices, and so on,” Mor said. “As things become more of a niche and more complex, there is a huge advantage in staying vertically specific. We stay strictly focused on the vertical of only real estate and we try to bring the combination of fintech and proptech together, not only providing a tool to manage information and to share data, but also to combine different types of services.”
Focusing solely on real estate, Agora has created specific software that enables global payments in real time for cross-border payments, as well as a tool that automates and prepares the filing of 1065 Schedule K taxes, which are provided to business partners to report their share of a partnership’s profits, losses, deductions and credits to the IRS, said Mor.
Agora is looking to become the proptech industry’s Carta, a $7.4 billion, San Francisco-based tech firm that helps companies and investors manage their cap tables, valuations, investments, and equity plans, Mor added.
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