Hello Alfred, an in-home assistant and property management startup, raised $40 million in a Series B funding round, the company announced Thursday.
Real estate companies DivcoWest and Invesco led the round, which also included New Enterprise Associates and Spark Capital.
The firm plans to use the new funds to expand into new cities (it is currently in eight) and to invest in data science.
Launched in 2014, Hello Alfred offers an alternative to the traditional property management firm in multifamily buildings. The firm’s employees receive packages on behalf of tenants and make repairs to apartments, but also offer services more akin to a personal assistant, like bringing clothes to the dry cleaner or restocking an apartment’s fridge. Tenants can request these errands through a mobile app.
Landlords pay for Hello Alfred much like they do for a property manager, but tenants can pay for additional services, like daily dog walking.
The company’s product is available in more than 10,000 apartments in the New York metro area and 40,000 apartments nationwide, a number the firm hopes to increase to 100,000 by the end of the year. Related Companies, Hines, Jamestown, Invesco and RXR Realty are clients.
Hello Alfred’s CEO and co-founder Marcela Sapone likened the company to the multifamily world’s WeWork.
“There is an overabundance of “luxury” apartments that are not differentiated in a meaningful way,” she said, arguing that landlords need to pay more attention to property management if they want to stay competitive. Developers “started planning what will be in those (new) buildings five years ago,” she said. “Five years ago a climbing gym would have been really interesting to consumers, but it’s not today.”
Hello Alfred raised $10.5 million in a Series A funding round in 2015. It is the latest in a growing list of real estate startups that raised money from major real-estate firms. Office services company Knotel, for example, recently raised $70 million in a Series B funding led by Newmark Knight Frank and the Sapir Organization.