Real Estate Web-Building Platform, Placester, Completes $2.5 Million Funding Raise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Frederick Townes, co-founder of Placester, will be speaking at the 2013 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, May 15-18 in Columbus, Ohio.

In real estate location is one of the most important factors that determine whether a property will sell or not. But what many real estate agents don’t know is that location is just as important…online. Placester, a website-building platform, allows agents to quickly create and launch beautiful real estate websites for both desktop and mobile, complete with fully-integrated MLS listing data.

The system provides massive distribution, premium listing services, and deep analytics to help real estate companies and professionals stay competitive and grow their businesses online.

“I think the most significant thing about Placester is that this is one of the first times in the industry’s history where you can make it easy for the 1.2 million real estate professionals to make websites that have all of their MLS data on it and is accessible by search engines, presented professionally, and has completely responsive design, meaning it works on a desktop, a tablet, or a mobile device,” says Frederick Townes, co-founder of Placester, who was the founding CTO of Mashable.

Before Placester, which launched in 2010, agency-built websites were often slow, didn’t capture leads well, were difficult to navigate and didn’t provide the capability for house hunters to save or share listings with friends. In addition, while agents have become adept at posting content on sites like Zillow or Trulia, often times they did not have their own website or domain name, meaning they had no control over their branding and could not position themselves uniquely in the market over their competition.

“The industry as a whole isn’t leveraging [technology] in a consistent way and that creates lots of different challenges,” says Townes. “With Placester, you can have your own website. It’s about taking control of your own destiny.”

The concept has been well received. In fact, this week, Placester just closed a round of funding that amounted to $2.5 million of seed financing led by Boston-based Romulus Capital and others. In celebration of Placester’s accomplishment, Black Enterprise recognizes the company as Tech Startup of the Week.

Townes will be joining the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, May 15-18 in Columbus, Ohio to discuss the coaching, mentoring and subsequent financing he received as a result of his participation in TechStars, a mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund founded in 2006 by David Cohen and Brad Feld, among others.

Click here for Townes tips on making the perfect pitch…


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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.