M&A / FundingProptechReal EstateReal Estate TechTechnology

Poplar Homes announces $53M Series B, strategic hires to grow its property management platform

Poplar Homes, a property management company for single family rental investors, announced raising a $53 million Series B led by LL Funds, according to a press release.

The company also announced it has doubled its team size and brought on a number of strategic hires, including Travis Buchanan as Chief Operating Officer (formerly American Homes 4 Rent), Scott Breon as Chief Strategy Officer (formerly Vacasa), Carolyn Landis as Executive VP of Corporate Development and Justin Lieberknect as VP of Marketing (AH4R).

New and existing investors including Crescent Cove Advisors, AGNC Ventures, proptech VC Zain Jaffer, computer scientist Jeff Dean and other seed investors also participated in the round. The fundraise follows a $10 million Series A in February 2019 and brings Poplar’s total funding to date to $74.9 million.

Poplar says that it has also made nine acquisitions of property management companies in high-growth markets, and plans to leverage these hires and acquisitions to drive its growth strategy.

The main focus for the company is the single family rental (SFR) market, namely individual property owners, which own 90% of the segment. The company says 67% of its customers previously self-managed their properties, and that its platform is specifically designed for the seven million independent landlords in the U.S.

“Single family rentals are an increasingly valuable asset, and Poplar is at the forefront of bringing institutional operating power to Main Street real estate investors, who are often spending hundreds of hours a year on everything from leasing and maintenance to legal issues and accounting,” stated Poplar Homes co-founder and CEO Greg Toschi in the release.

Through its tech-enabled services, the company is trying to set new standards in the fragmented $100 billion property management industry and is used by over 5,000 property owners across 13 major cities. These services include guaranteed rent and eviction protection, a 24/7 support office and an owner dashboard that provides lease, maintenance and financial performance tracking.

Looking ahead, Poplar says it will manage over a quarter billion dollars in rent volume with a rent payout of only 1.5 days, which it says is the fastest in the industry.

The company also services the renters side of the transaction, saying it helps individuals get approved, view available properties and rent homes online. It also provides easy maintenance solutions by leveraging 3D imaging and machine learning to resolve 65% of all maintenance issues remotely.

“With the continued growth of the large single family rental market coupled with a highly fragmented service provider network, Poplar Homes provides a cohesive, technology-driven platform and digital first solution. The Poplar platform unlocks tangible economic benefits to property owners and investors, and a better living experience for their residents,” stated Jim Morrissey, Partner at LL Funds, who joined Poplar Homes board as part of the funding.

“In addition to providing products and services to homeowners and investors, Poplar Homes is building trusted relationships with tenants at the early stages of their real estate lifecycle creating numerous downstream product opportunities,” Morrissey said.

In other recent proptech news, Audience Town CEO Ed Carey discussed using data to advertise and market along the home buying journey. Seven international digital real estate investment platforms also joined to launch a trade association (AREIP) aimed at establishing market standards.

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