Real estate brokerage Compass to acquire Seattle-based home closing startup Modus

Modus CEO Alexander Day; co-founder Jai Sim; and Abbas Guvenilir. (Modus Photo)

New York-based real estate brokerage and tech company Compass will acquire Modus, a Seattle startup that automates the title and escrow phase of closing on a home.

Compass plans to integrate Modus’ software into its tech-fueled platform used by more than 18,000 real estate agents across 165-plus U.S. cities. The Modus brand will continue to exist and its 60-plus employee team will join Compass, which employs more than 2,000 people.

Founded in 2018, Modus digitizes the home closing process. Last year it raised a $12.5 million round co-led by NFX and Felicis Ventures. Other backers include Liquid 2 Ventures; Mucker Capital; Hustle Fund; 500 Startups; Rambleside; and Cascadia Ventures. The company has raised $14 million to date.

“Compass’s customer-first approach is right in line with the way we think about our business – since day one we have

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Closing the Technology Opportunity Gap Takes Coordinated Effort

Top view close up of multi-ethnic group of people working together at cluttered wooden table with coffee cups, mugs and stationary items.


PHOTO:
Shutterstock

The tech industry’s diversity problem is well documented, particularly among the giants.

Take Facebook, for example. From 2013 to 2018, its US employee base grew more than six times to 27,705, but by fewer than 1,000 Black people according to a USA Today analysis. In that five-year span, 3.7% of Facebook’s employees were black, up from 1%. And of course, Facebook’s not alone.

Many see that the problem goes beyond the hiring practices of tech giants. According to an Amazon-commissioned survey published this month, the most significant cause of concern is the gap in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities in underserved communities where Black and brown children live in higher numbers.

And it’s widening, they say. 

Some nonprofit organizations have taken on the challenge to ensure young people from underrepresented communities and backgrounds are ready to enter college, and then the workforce, equipped with technology skills

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Still The Best Smartwatch, But The Gap Is Closing

Last year’s Apple Watch Series 5 was one of the most minor iterative updates I could remember for a high profiled tech product. It was basically an Apple Watch 4 but with a screen that could stay on consistently. Everything else from build to chip was the same. It was particularly jarring considering the Series 4 had made huge improvements over the Series 3. But still, despite the minimal upgrade, the Series 4 was still the best smartwatch on the market.

The improvements made this year from the Series 5 to brand new Series 6, while still not huge, is more relevant than last year’s. We get a new chip inside this time, and one new health feature (well, new for Apple anyway) that can be considered crucial for health.

But even if the annual Watch improvements have become incremental—perhaps a testament to

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