New York-based VTS and Hightower Inc. said they completed a merger deal under which the companies will form a leading commercial real estate leasing and asset management platform, to operate under the VTS brand. The two companies’ strongest features will be integrated into one platform with a collective customer base of over 5 billion square feet.
VTS is the leading asset management and leasing platform providing real-time portfolio analytics to the top landlords and brokerage firms in the world, with 3.3 billion square feet under management. The company allows brokers and landlords to manage deal activity, identify trends and quantify portfolio performance from their desktop or mobile device.
Hightower is the leading leasing and asset management platform for the commercial real estate industry. Hightower helps owners and brokers save time, increase returns, and reduce risk in their portfolio. Founded in 2013, Hightower has thousands of customers from around the world using its platform, with enterprise customers including Vornado, CBRE, NGKF, Beacon Capital, Shorenstein and others.
Nick Romito, CEO and co-founder of VTS, will remain in his role as CEO. Brandon Weber, co-founder and former CEO of Hightower, will assume the role of chief product officer at VTS. Weber will join the VTS board of directors along with former Hightower board member Ethan Kurzweil, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.
“We’re at a pivotal moment in commercial real estate, with the industry beginning to realize technology’s true potential. VTS and Hightower have earned the trust of the top institutional firms, driving significant adoption of both platforms across the industry,” said Romito. “With VTS and Hightower’s combined expertise, we can elevate our service offering and partner with customers to solve their most complicated problems in real estate. We’re broadening our vision to tackle even more ambitious industry challenges around the globe.”
“Our companies have a lot in common — we care deeply about the success of our customers and are committed to solving the industry’s most significant pain points,” said Weber. “By joining forces, we’re combining the technical horsepower and industry expertise of two very strong teams. In the coming months, we’ll accelerate our product roadmap and, most importantly, work side-by-side with customers to ensure they have a lasting competitive advantage.”
“In merging with Hightower, we’re bringing together top institutional and local market operators on one platform for the first time. This presents a huge opportunity to create an ecosystem for commercial real estate; a platform the industry can rely on for real-time intelligence and seamless communication across the globe,” said Ryan Masiello, co-founder and chief revenue officer at VTS. “Our vision is to create the standard solution that landlords, asset managers and brokers want to make more informed decisions, improve efficiency, and ultimately drive better performance across their portfolios and the entire marketplace.”
“With this merger, these combined companies have the potential to be the CRM platform and system of record for the commercial real estate sector,” said Trinity Ventures founding partner and VTS board member Noel Fenton. Trinity Ventures was the first institutional investor in the company, leading the Series A funding round in 2013.
Investors in VTS include Blackstone Group LP and Boston-based venture-capital firm OpenView, according to The Wall Street Journal. Among Hightower’s major backers are Bessemer Venture Partners, Menlo Park, Calif., and Thrive Capital, a venture firm led by Joshua Kushner, whose brother, Jared Kushner, is married to Ivanka Trump, the president-elect’s daughter, the Journal added.
Photo: Nick Romito, CEO and co-founder of VTS.