Compass, a tech-focused real estate platform, just hired Microsoft’s chief tech and artificial intelligence leader Joseph Sirosh as new CTO, reporting into its COO. Sirosh will lead the engineering team to develop new AI-powered products for the entire real estate ecosystem and the 7000+ Compass agents.
Compass is a unique beast: it was founded in 2012 by Ori Allon, an ex-Twitter and ex-Google computer science PhD, Robert Reffkin, who previously worked at McKinsey and Goldman, and Ugo di Girolamo, an engineer with Twitter and GE Homeland Security – with their main office on 90 Fifth Ave in NY, near where I have been living for 20 years, with the NYU energy all around Washington Square Park.
The team as well stands out… COO Maelle Gavet prior handled Priceline’s global operations, and CFO Kristen Ankerbrandt spent 12 years at Carlyle. Head of Product Eytan Seidman was at Microsoft and TripAdvisor, and the CMO Khurrum Malik at Spotify.
Nobody ever worked in real estate before, yet their company has become a leader in the US luxury market in about five years, with the promise of AI for much greater growth going forward.
So why would one of the premier AI leaders, working at the most valuable company in the world in tech and AI, Microsoft, leave that position to work for a NY real estate startup?
“I’m excited to join Compass to transform the real estate experience through technology,” said Sirosh. “Compass is a company with a once in a lifetime opportunity and when technologies like Artificial Intelligence are used to enhance the human experience, it can be a game changer. It will be a privilege leading this organization’s impressive technical team towards this new future,” according to PR Newswire.
Also, it is well funded and big names stand behind that AI promise: the group just closed $400 million in Series F.
Investors in Compass highlighted on its website include Softbank, Fidelity, Wellington, Goldman Sachs, Kenneth Chenault / American Express, Marc Benioff / Salesforce, and others.
Overall, Compass has raised $1.2 billion from investors, with $400 million from SoftBank and QIA in the fall – Real Deal values Compass at $4.4 billion.