Dennis Walsh named head of IR at ‘lightning in a bottle’ start-up Pacaso

Dec 02, 2021
Multi-award-winning IR professional joins firm founded by former Zillow executives Austin Allison and Spencer Rascoff

Dennis Walsh has joined Pacaso as its head of investor relations, taking up the role at a company started by two former executives from his old firm Zillow.

In March, Pacaso announced $75 mn in additional growth funding, bringing its total equity financing to more than $90 mn. The company, which launched in October 2020, also said it had secured $1 bn in debt financing. The news meant the second-home start-up had achieved unicorn status – a valuation of $1 bn – faster than any other US company. It said in March that it had achieved sustained Ebitda profitability in Q1, ‘with a path to sustained long-term profitability’.

The company, which has yet to go public despite appointing Walsh as head of IR, seeks to ‘democratize’ second- home ownership by bringing co-ownership to an online marketplace.

Walsh comes most recently from mobile e-commerce firm Wish, though he served in Zillow’s investor relations division for more than three years, leaving for a role at on-demand food company Postmates in September 2019.

‘Pacaso is lightning in a bottle,’ says Austin Allison, Pacaso CEO and co-founder, in the March funding announcement. ‘Our mission to democratize second-home ownership has resonated with people looking for a refuge, a place where they can gather with friends and family. Pacaso’s innovative co-ownership model is helping many people now realize their dream of owning a second home.’

Allison’s former Zillow colleague Spencer Rascoff – now co-founder and chairman of Pacaso – adds in the announcement that throughout his career as a founder and tech investor, he has ‘experienced tremendous growth and innovation among start-ups, but none compare to Pacaso’.

The company also took the opportunity to announce the appointment of Nina Tran as CFO in March. ‘Nina has more than 25 years of experience building and leading finance, accounting and people operations teams,’ said the company at the time. ‘[She] took Waypoint Homes public through its merger with Starwood Waypoint and served as its CFO through its sale to Invitation Homes. She also serves as a board director for a public real estate investment trust.’

Greycroft Venture Capital was one of those leading the March funding round. ‘Pacaso’s business vitals are nothing short of momentous and we’re excited to be part of the journey,’ says the firm’s co-founder and managing partner Dana Settle in the Pacaso statement. ‘As the demand for second-home ownership increases, gone are the days of these homes sitting empty for most of the year with little benefit to the owner. Pacaso is creating a new category that will dramatically change how people approach buying and owning a second home.’

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