Knock, a Seattle startup that helps property management companies operate more efficiently, announced Wednesday that it closed on a $12 million Series B funding round, bringing the company’s total capital raised to $27.5 million.
Co-founders Tom Petry and Demetri Themelis developed Knock in 2014 after having their fair share of frustrating apartment hunting experiences as students at the University of Washington.
“[Apartment hunting] can be a pretty disorganized and kind of frustrating and fragmented process; that was certainly our experience. Whether it was difficulty just setting up a time to go visit a property or staying organized and in good communication with the property manager,” Petry told Built In. “It was clear that property management in general was a large category that just hadn't been modernized with great software tools built specifically for it.”
So they designed Knock’s platform to make property managers’ lives easier, providing a suite of industry-specific tools in one space to help with everything from marketing to leasing renewal to customer service. Knock wants to help property managers fill their empty units more quickly and keep current tenants for a longer period.
Petry says the company has more than doubled revenue since its $10 million Series A funding round last year. More than 250 property management companies are using the platform, and more than 5,000 apartment buildings are posted there, accounting for 1.7 million residents.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing much of the nation to stay indoors, usage of the platform’s messaging and mobile tools have “skyrocketed,” according to the company. In response, Knock recently launched several new tools, including self-guided and live video touring capabilities, new resident engagement and renewal workflows, and new centralized leasing tools that help property managers work from home more efficiently.
Themelis says these new tools likely won’t go away any time soon, even when we eventually get a handle on the coronavirus.
“We certainly expect in-person tours to come roaring back in the future, but that doesn’t mean these capabilities will disappear,” Themelis told Built In. “A lot of this stuff — virtual tours, self-showing technology — I think it’s been struggling to get a firm foothold in the industry for a while and this crisis has really accelerated the adoption of something that was probably already going to make a permanent mark eventually.”
Knock says it will use the new capital to innovate the platform and develop a new suite of productivity and business intelligence tools. Though Petry says the company’s growth rate will be taken quarter by quarter in light of the current economy, the company also plans to hire across all areas.