Avison Young has acquired the “intellectual property and other select assets” of Truss, a Chicago-based proptech company which offers a commercial real estate leasing platform in several major cities in the United States.
In 2019, Truss said it offered more than 30,000 spaces in the office, co-working, industrial and retail space available to search, tour and lease on its marketplace and brokerage platform. It said the listings offered more than 300 million square feet of space.
The company attracted more than US$22 million in funding during its two most recent equity raises, including a US$15-million infusion led by General Catalyst in early 2019. General Catalyst has also invested in marketplace technology companies such as Airbnb, ClassPass and Deliveroo.
“Proptech isn’t a stand-alone for us, we’re completely focused on integrating it into the entire suite of services and solutions our people use to deliver insights and competitive advantage for our clients,” said Mark Rose, chair and CEO of Avison Young, in the announcement. “What excites me is not just the leading technology we are getting here, but the deep talent that we’ve on-boarded.
“This team will accelerate all elements of Avison Young into the future, expanding the power of data and technology we bring to our teammates and our clients.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Truss co-founder joins Avison Young
Truss co-founder Bobby Goodman will also join Avison Young as a principal to add his expertise and to assist with the integration of its tools into the firm’s operations.
“As we considered Truss’ future and examined ways to scale globally, joining Avison Young was a natural next step – our principles and vision for the industry are completely aligned,” said Goodman in the release.
“The work the firm is doing to engage clients with AVANT by Avison Young and investment in its growing innovation team is leading the commercial real estate world into the digital future.”
Other co-founders of Truss were Tom Smith and Andrew Bokor. A serial entrepreneur, Bokor was also the founder of a cybersecurity firm known as Trustwave, which was sold for US$770 million in 2015.
Avison Young plans to continue to expand the Truss platform to “further the digitization of commercial real estate leasing and sales processes for clients – a move that grows the firm’s innovation and client engagement platform to help drive economic, social and environmental value that meets client business objectives,” the release states.
Truss markets, expansion
The Truss platform includes listings from its home base in Chicago as well as Boston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. The company was planning to continue to expand into new major urban centres.
It had grown to 51 employees before the pandemic struck, but Truss subsequently laid off 16 of its personnel, according to a Chicago Tribune report earlier this year.
Truss says it is the only platform in the space to offer complete price transparency to prospective tenants during the search process.
Small business owners can take 3D virtual tours of the spaces, which offers both convenience and an added level of safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Avison Young plans to combine Truss’ technology and expertise with the its own growing innovation and technology platform under the Avison Young brand to expand its digital product line.
The firm’s global intelligence platform, AVANT by Avison Young, houses data which Avison Young experts utilize to help clients achieve their business goals in the real estate sector.
Toronto-based Avison Young has undergone a major expansion during the past couple of years, growing to about 5,000 employees and 100 global offices.