Why We Invested in Avenue 8
Agents have long spent the lion’s share of their time out in the world — showing homes, meeting with clients, and juggling miscellaneous requests 24/7 . Everywhere but not at their desks. This led Avenue 8 founders Michael Martin and Justin Fichelson to ask themselves:
“If real estate agents don’t use offices anymore, why have all the major brokerage firms invested so much in office space? And why don’t agents have more technology at their fingertips?”
Clearly, the industry needs a new model.
Michael and Justin founded Avenue 8 to upend the traditional brokerage model with a mobile-first strategy. Instead of building a footprint of expensive physical offices that take away from agents’ bottom line, Avenue 8 focuses on what agents want most: effective online marketing for themselves and their listings, valuable insights for clients in a mobile interface, and maximum take-home earnings.
Avenue 8 is the first and only mobile brokerage firm. The company has reimagined the brokerage experience through thoughtful design and technology that simplifies the process of buying and selling for everyone involved. They equip agents with a suite of services that empower them to:
- streamline administrative tasks
- create beautiful marketing collateral to promote their listings online and on social media
- identify comparable transactions and compile valuation data into a slick interface to share with clients
- take home a larger portion of their commissions
- have more flexibility to negotiate terms with their clients
In short, Avenue 8 paves the way for ambitious agents to sell more homes and keep more of their earnings.
When we met Michael and Justin, it was clear that their fresh, modern approach to the brokerage model was gaining momentum and they were the right pair to seize the opportunity. Justin’s background as a successful real estate agent guides the development of the brokerage, and Michael’s operational and design expertise is cementing Avenue 8 as the most practical brokerage for agents in today’s mobile-first world.
More and more agents are leaving their contracts with traditional brokerages and joining the Avenue 8 team. The company has already transformed the way agents in the Bay Area and Los Angeles manage their businesses, and we are excited for Avenue 8’s mission to reach the Miami and New York City markets later this year.
A short time after leading Avenue 8’s seed round, we are thrilled to co-lead the $14M Series A round alongside Threshold Ventures. Our General Partner Jeff Fluhr will join the Board of Directors.
Congratulations Michael, Justin, and the entire Avenue 8 team, and welcome to the Craft family!