Knock, a real estate startup that buys homes directly from homeowners, similar to the better-known Opendoor, has brought in a $400 million investment to accelerate a national expansion and double its 100-person headcount.
According to the company, the new funding will allow it to continue its nationwide expansion, add employees, and perhaps most importantly, advance the development of the technology that powers the company’s signature offering, the “home trade-in” program.
Under the program, the company buys a homeowner’s house and moves them into a new house of their choosing before putting the homeowner’s old house on the market.
The company charges consumers the traditional 3 percent commission, but claims that its program simplifies the home selling and buying process and carries significant advantages over the traditional home buying process. This includes not needing to carry out repairs or go through numerous showings until they find a buyer. The process is also often much faster, Knock claims.
"At Knock we believe the only way to revolutionize the real estate industry is by addressing both home buying and selling, given 71% of consumers are doing both at the same time, which is why we're creating a marketplace solution with our Home Trade-in platform," said Sean Black, Co-founder and CEO of Knock. "As we celebrate the success of the Trade-in with this latest round of funding, we are excited to have found investors and partners in Foundry Group, which has successfully helped other marketplace companies like Rover and Havenly scale platforms that transform traditional industries for a better, technology-powered consumer experience."
Knock has experienced rapid growth since its founding, launching in five markets: Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, Raleigh-Durham, NC, Dallas, TX and Fort Worth, TX. Along with its market expansions, the company's headcount has multiplied in the past two years to 100 full-time employees distributed across 15 states. The engineering, product and data science team comprises one-third of the employee base, demonstrating the company's commitment to developing a truly technology-centric solution.
As a result, Knock announced a number of revolutionary product advancements in the past year alone, including its unique predictive home search tool Knock Deals. Fueled by this tool, Knock also released its inaugural National Knock Deals Forecast, a first-ever predictive study of home price outcomes for on-market listings across 45 top U.S. metros, driven by the company's proprietary data science and machine learning-based algorithms.
This latest round of funding brings the total equity and debt raised by Knock to over $600 million. In January 2017, the company announced its Series A round led by RRE Ventures with additional funding from Corazon Capital, Redpoint, Greycroft, Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital and FJ Labs.