The co-founder of Zillow and Pacaso just isn’t that into traditional real estate — at least as an income-generating investment, he told Arrived CEO Ryan Frazier in a recent interview.

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Spencer Rascoff co-founded – and once led – a company that has become one of the most ubiquitous names in real estate.

In the years since Rascoff left Zillow, the serial entrepreneur co-founded or invested in numerous other companies, including venture capital firms and part-time real estate companies.

But one area he’s avoided is the traditional route to investing in rental properties, Rascoff told Arrived CEO Ryan Frazier last month. recorded interview.

“Not for any income,” Rascoff said. “I own a couple of houses for my own use and I own a Pacaso, but no, I haven’t invested in real estate.

It’s not because of lack of interest in the cause. Rascoff’s startup Pacaso aims to offer smaller investors a path to second home ownership, usually by pooling money with a group of other small investors. He is also an investor in Frazier’s company, which offers similar services to consumers.

And probably for Rascoff, money isn’t what keeps him from investing in entire properties.

“I’ve always found it inaccessible and complicated,” Rascoff said. “I didn’t know where to start. It seemed really expensive. I really didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t want to deal with the operational elements of it.’

So what is Rascoff investing in these days? About 80 percent of the companies he invests in are consumer-facing products, he said, and the rest are business-to-business solutions. It usually gets to the pre-seed, seed or series A stage. It also incubates new startups.

“I’ve been a passive angel investor in startups really my entire career, 20 years,Rascoff said. “I wasn’t very good at it. I did it somewhat opportunistically. Like a former employee starting a business, I would invest a small amount. When I left Zillow about three, three and a half years ago, I decided to do it more intentionally.

He said his investments fall into four main areas, each representing about a quarter of his portfolio.

  • Proptech Companies — Real estate technology solutions remain one of Rascoff’s main areas of interest.
  • Human Resources Engineering — According to Rascoff, he remains interested in the future of work and how technological solutions can engage employees.
  • “Maker Economy” – This is an area that aims to leverage influencers in a “Hollywood meets Silicon Valley” concept, he said.
  • More “out there” stuff – Space, artificial intelligence and robotics companies capture Rascoff’s imagination, he said, and round out the last quarter of his portfolio.

View the full interview here.

Email Daniel Houston



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