Housing investment startup EasyKnock raised $3.5 million in venture capital, the company announced Wednesday. Montage Ventures, Crestar Partners and Blumberg Capital participated in the Seed round.
The Manhattan-based company, founded in 2016 by Jarred Kessler and Benjamin Black, buys homes and allows the sellers to remain as renters for a fixed lease term. At the end of the term, the renter can either buy back the home for a previously agreed price or move out.
EasyKnock claims it can close on home purchases within 30 days with the help of credit lines and markets itself as an alternative to reverse mortgages for homeowners who want to turn their properties into cash without actually moving out. “There is an explosion in single family rentals in the United States and a huge hole for homeowners unable to release equity out of their home,” said the company’s CEO Jarred Kessler.
Last year EasyKnock raised $1.2 million in an earlier Seed funding round. The company initially launched in New York, Florida, Georgia, Texas and California and has since expanded to Tennessee and South Carolina, Kessler said. The company currently has 16 employees.
Its business model is similar to Roofstock, which has raised $75 million in venture funding. But while Roofstock merely matches sellers who want to stay in their homes as renters with investors, EasyKnock actually buys the homes.
“U.S. consumers are sitting on over $14.5 trillion in home equity, yet there are few options for them to access this capital,” said Montage Ventures partner Matthew Murphy.