Last week, as newly-minted real estate giant Opendoor settled into its Atlanta engineering, design, and operations hub, news outlets reported the company was seeking to raise another $200 million, this time at a $3.7 billion valuation.
While valuation numbers can get sticky, here are the hard facts: in 2018, Opendoor expanded from six to 19 cities, citing a goal of hitting 50 markets in 2020. They more than doubled their employee count nationwide to almost 1,000 team members.
In Atlanta, the team went from about 20 to over 120 in just 12 months. A good portion of that growth is in engineering, especially after the company brought on local engineering lead Atlee Breelend, but positions are being filled in sales, home operations, customer experience, and product.
When they first began looking for a new office, Amit Arora, who served as Interim General Manager for Atlanta, says they were searching for a 5,000-10,000 square foot space.
By the time they found their spot in the heart of Atlanta’s downtown at 84 Walton Street, they needed 35,000 square feet.
The office takes up the better part of three floors and has an open floor plan, with several eating and collaborative work areas as well as private conference rooms and phone nooks. Opendoor holds all-hands meetings each week and considers that space to be its central gathering area.
Arora says that local company leaders specifically wanted to be “a part of this downtown revitalization.” The first few Opendoor team members in Atlanta worked out of the Switchyards Downtown Club startup hub.
Arora says some of the office growth can also be attributed to the migration of folks from other parts of the country that see Atlanta as an attractive and affordable place to live. “We’re actually seeing this interesting exodus from the Bay area,” he says.
That mix of old and new means the Atlanta office will develop its own unique culture, he believes. He does mention some specific traits that permeate the Opendoor culture nationwide: incredibly high standards, low ego, and radical candor.
“This is definitely not a sharp-elbowed place,” says Arora.
While more tech-enabled real estate startups, like Knock and Zillow, have moved into the city, Atlanta remains one of Opendoor’s top markets. Arora is confident in additional growth, and their ability to find talent to grow with them.