New funding: Knock announced a $20 million round to fuel growth of its apartment property management software. It follows a $12 million round raised in May and pushes total funding to $47 million for the 7-year-old company that employs 104 people.
Knock’s tech: Knock describes its software category as the “intelligent front office,” helping property managers deal with marketing, sales, CRM, retention, performance management, predictive analytics, applicant screening, and reporting all in one platform.
Pandemic impact: There is more attention than ever on multifamily given its resilience compared to other real estate investments such as commercial properties, said Knock co-founder Demetri Themelis. The pandemic has also accelerated adoption of tech services such as virtual apartment tours and communication with prospects and tenants. As a result, Knock has added more customers and quadrupled revenue over the past two years, with more than 1.5 million apartment units on its platform.
Founder pedigree: Knock, originally called ZipDigs, was co-founded in 2014 by Themelis and Tom Petry, two University of Washington grads who previously worked together at UBS Wealth Management. The entrepreneurs were frustrated with the leasing process, specifically with how difficult it was to communicate with landlords. Jay Zeng, the company’s other co-founder, left in April 2018.
Investor interest: Fifth Wall led the round, which included participation from Madrona Venture Group, Lead Edge Capital, Second Avenue Partners and Seven Peaks Ventures. Vik Chawla, partner at Fifth Wall, will join Knock’s board.
Seattle real estate tech hub: Knock is one of several startups in the Seattle region building tech for the real estate industry. Others include Flyhomes, Remarkably, Pro.com, Porch, JetClosing, MoxiWorks, IMPREV, Faira, Picket Homes, and more — as well as industry giants Zillow Group and Redfin.