Here’s the 15-page deck Agora, a startup looking to be the go-to CRM for real-estate investors, used to raise a $9 million seed round
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- Agora, which offers software for real-estate investment managers, raised a $9 million seed round.
- The market for managed real-estate investments globally totals more than $10 trillion.
- See the pitch deck Agora used to raise its seed round.
For alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.
Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that’s where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.
Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows.
On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated in addition to Clear Future.
Bar Mor, Agora’s cofounder and CEO, told Insider the startup’s ultimate goal is to offer a broad-based, versatile set of services for a niche, if sizable, industry, rather than something adapted across multiple sectors.
“Instead of developing a CRM for different kinds of industries, we decided, ‘Let’s target one specific niche, which is real-estate funds, investment managers and developers, and create a platform that really gives them everything they need around this kind of investor and company,'” Mor said.
Mor, whose family has a background in real-estate investing in Israel, met cofounders Lior Dolinski and Noam Kahan while serving in the Israeli Intelligence Corps. It was work, Bar said, that involved extensive “research analytics, business intelligence, and working with complex data structure” — all skills the founders have been able to leverage at Agora.
Since launching two years ago, Agora has added some 6,000 underlying users to its service, with $20 billion in real-estate assets under management now flowing through its tools, Mor said.
Some of Agora’s current customers include Goldman Investments, a $500 million real-estate investment manager with offices in the US and Israel, and Israeli investment bank Migdal Capital Markets.
While Agora’s home base is originally in Israel, around 65% of the startup’s customers are based in the US. Of the remaining Israeli clients, nearly all of their business is US-based as well.
Agora now employs around 30 people, Mor said, a number he expects to reach 40 within the next six months. Sales and business development teams are based out of New York, while tech and product teams sit in Tel Aviv.