CEO at VTS
Late in the summer, Nick Romito’s VTS closed a $125 million funding round led by brokerage giant CBRE. The longtime investor in and customer of the proptech firm, a leasing and asset management platform perhaps best known for its office demand index, CBRE put in $100 million of its own after approaching VTS about the round.
The round valued the 10-year-old VTS at $1.7 billion, and included investment from other heavy hitters such as BentallGreenOak, AmTrust, Brookfield Ventures and Insight Partners.
The firm — which also secured $150 million in debt financing from Canadian lender CIBC Innovation Banking at the same time as the CBRE-led infusion — immediately set about talking up its expansion plans. And why not?
“The conclusion that we’ve come to is that our suite of products is exciting to almost every asset class in real estate,” Romito told Commercial Observer in early October.
VTS was initially built for the office market — hence the prominence of that demand index, which tracks tenant searches in major markets — but the firm began expanding into retail and industrial a few years ago. It’s now going to use the newest funding and debt to “enter multifamily pretty aggressively as well as workplace over the next 24 months,” Romito said. Some 200,000 units are already on VTS’ multifamily platform, Romito said.
It’s been in expansion mode for a while. In 2021, the company had the depth to acquire Rise Building, a proptech firm targeting building operations and tenant experience, for around $100 million. Then, in the same year it bought Lane Technologies, a platform for managing daily office realities such as booking conference rooms, for $200 million.
About 80 percent of VTS’ business comes from North American clients. Romito said the new funding will allow a geographic expansion, too. As for the timing, it’s immediate. The pandemic has not, and will not, get in the way, Romito says. In fact, its disruption may have helped.
“I was relieved, given what the world was going through,” Romito said, “that our customers looked at us as a real resource.” —T.A.