Knock, a CRM for landlords, raises $20M

Fifth Wall led round for startup, which has 1.5M units on platform

National /
Feb.February 18, 2021 02:00 PM
Knock co-founders Tom Petry and Demetri Themelis (Photos via Knock)

Knock co-founders Tom Petry and Demetri Themelis (Photos via Knock)

Knock, which bills itself as the “front-office tech stack” for apartment landlords, has raised $20 million in growth equity to accelerate the rollout of new products, including virtual touring and leasing.

The round, led by Fifth Wall Ventures, brings the startup’s total funding to $47 million. Previous backers Madrona Venture Group, Lead Edge Capital, Second Avenue Partners and Seven Peaks Ventures also participated in the round.

Based in Seattle, Knock’s core product is a customer relationship manager (CRM) for multifamily owners. The funding will allow the company to invest in new products, including centralized sales and lease management, virtual tours, applicant screening and AI communications and forecasting. Knock has 100 employees, and plans to add 40 to 50 more this year.

It’s not affiliated with another company with the same name, which helps people buy homes; or with Easy Knock, a sale-leaseback company for homeowners.

Knock was founded in 2014 by Tom Petry and Demetri Themelis, who previously worked together at UBS Wealth Management in New York City. The idea stemmed from their painful experiences as renters. “Looking under the hood, it was even worse” from a property management perspective, Themelis said, citing a lack of technological innovation.

Using Knock’s software, renters can see what’s available and book tours. From there, property managers can use Knock to manage correspondence with prospects and stay on top of calendar items — from showings to renewals.

“Every operational touch point is managed within Knock,” Themelis said.

In a statement, Fifth Wall partner Vik Chawla said institutional capital is flowing into the multifamily space. “With asset prices increasing in response, operators need to improve yield and maximize operational efficiencies,” he said.

Knock is subscription based, and while it declined to disclose revenue, the company said it’s quadrupled its revenue over the past two years. It also experienced a massive uptick last year, when the pandemic pushed landlords to rapidly adopt tech, if they weren’t already.

The company has 1.5 million units on its platform. Customers include CAPREIT, the Canadian Apartment Properties REIT; as well as Pinnacle Property Management, which was acquired last year by Cushman & Wakefield; and Highmark Residential, an affiliate of Starwood Capital.

“We are selling to owners and operators of large portfolios, who use Knock as a portfolio management solution,” Themelis said.





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