Knotel takes on CoStar with blockchain-based leasing data platform

Flexible office startup plans to launch KnotelKoin in 2018

New York /
Mar.March 30, 2018 01:30 PM

Amol Sarva (Credit: Jhila Farzaneh)

As if facing off against WeWork in the flexible office market isn’t enough, Knotel is now going after property data behemoth CoStar.

The New York-based startup plans to launch an online office listing data platform dubbed KnotelKoin, according to an email the company’s founder Amol Sarva sent to acquaintances and business partners Thursday. The platform will be based on blockchain technology: participants can add and verify information about particular office spaces through a peer-to-peer ledger system.

Users who add information to the blockchain (for example the size of a space or its rent history) are rewarded with digital tokens, whose value can increase over time and which can be used to pay for transactions on the platform, according to a white paper on KnotelKoin’s website. The company is planning a so-called initial coin offering for the tokens in the third quarter of 2018.

“The current system creates a fragmented market where controllers like CoStar lack any incentive to share their data with the public and/or technological resources to produce a clean dataset or innovate on offerings,” the white paper reads. “Without access to verified and up-to date information, tenants and landlords alike need to contract intermediaries (e.g., agents and brokers) to lease and rent commercial space, thereby inflating the cost of finding office space and reducing flexibility.”

CoStar currently has a tight grip on the commercial leasing data business following the December bankruptcy of its biggest rival, Xceligent. KnotelKoin’s peer-to-peer philosophy is somewhat similar to CompStak, a crowdsourced commercial property database. CoStar has a history of suing upstart competitors for copyright infringement and has filed cases against RealMassive and Xceligent, among others.

Knotel, founded in 2016, takes office space under leases or management agreements and then sublets it to companies under flexible terms. The company raised $25 million in a Series A fundraising round in early 2017 and has expanded to more than 700,000 square feet of office space in New York and San Francisco.

Sarva recently sat down with The Real Deal for a video interview in which he dished on the future of the office market and his company’s rivalry with WeWork.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
Eric Gordon on the evolution of the residential data game — and how to stay competitive in the new world
Big Tech locations in NYC
MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
MAP: Here’s a look at all the Big Tech locations in NYC
What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
What will proptech look like in 2019 and beyond?
Sundae co-founders Josh Stech and Andrew Swain (Sundae via LinkedIn)
Distressed-property startup Sundae raises $80M in Series C round
Distressed-property startup Sundae raises $80M in Series C round
Lev Capital raises $30M Series A round
Lev raises $30M Series A round
Lev raises $30M Series A round
Condos.com founders Richard Swerdlow and Neel Kawale (Getty, Hauskey, Condos.com)
Condos.com launches as iBuying website for new development units in US
Condos.com launches as iBuying website for new development units in US
Starrett-Lehigh Building at 601 West 26th Street and 1740 Broadway (iStock, EQ Office, Suma Industries)
Commercial landlords shake up offices to lure tenants back
Commercial landlords shake up offices to lure tenants back
REBNY's Ninve James and Trestle's Amy Gorce 
REBNY taps CoreLogic’s Trestle to manage RLS feed transmissions
REBNY taps CoreLogic’s Trestle to manage RLS feed transmissions
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...