Proptech startup Lessen raises $35M in Series A funding

VC firm Fifth Wall led round for property management firm that connects owners to service, maintenance providers

National /
Jun.June 24, 2021 03:06 PM
Lessen CEO Jay McKee and Fifth Wall managing partner Brendan Wallace (LinkedIn)
Lessen CEO Jay McKee and Fifth Wall managing partner Brendan Wallace (LinkedIn)

Lessen, a rental property management platform, raised $35 million in Series A funding.

The two-year-old company connects single-family and multifamily owners to plumbers, electricians and related service and maintenance businesses.

Venture capital firm Fifth Wall led the round as it continues to place big bets on the proptech industry. Other investors in the round included Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst and Navitas Capital.

Lessen CEO Jay McKee previously founded single-family rental company Colony American Homes, which in 2015 merged with a Starwood Capital Group affiliate. While at Colony American, McKee said he noticed a shortage of technology for property management services, and also wanted to provide it at a larger scale.

Scottsdale, Arizona-based Lessen provides services for several large multifamily and residential real estate investment trusts, McKee said. He declined to give their names.

McKee said the company’s goal is to “lessen the expenses of our clients, to lessen the friction and corporate overhead that may be inefficient,” McKee added. The business model also appears to have been the inspiration for the company’s name.

The latest funding round accounts for about 80 percent of Lessen’s $44 million raised. The company also has offices in Seattle and Miami.

Brendan Wallace-led Fifth Wall has been actively investing in property technology companies. In April, it launched its third special purpose acquisition company this year, targeting proptech firms outside the U.S.

Lessen’s platform works with more than 1,000 service and maintenance providers across 26 markets for single-family, multifamily and short-term rental properties, the company said.

The single-family rental market in particular has seen an explosion of investment since the pandemic. This week, Blackstone Group agreed to pay $6 billion for single-family rental company Home Partners of America.

Despite the single-family rental market boom, landlords “lack the technology needed to effectively manage maintenance across their portfolios at scale,” said Fifth Wall’s Dan Wenhold.


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