EasyKnock acquires power buyer Ribbon
Sale-leaseback startup plans national marketplace
Proptech startup EasyKnock acquired fellow technology company Ribbon for an undisclosed sum, aiming for a national expansion.
The acquisition closed at the start of the month, Inman reported. The entire Ribbon team is being folded into EasyKnock initially, though it’s unclear what the long-term prospects for those employees will be, as well as the future for Ribbon CEO Shaival Shah.
Things have been rough for Shah’s company in recent months. The company last summer cut 139 employees and gutted 85 percent of its staff in November, leaving its headcount below 30 total employees after starting the year with more than 300.
Founded in 2017, Ribbon offers software for brokers and temporary financing for homebuyers to make cash offers. The company said in Sep. 2021 its 18-month outlook was focused on mid-range homeowners competing with large investors and institutional buyers speculating on the single-family rental market.
EasyKnock largely targets middle-class homeowners who sell their properties to the company, then lease them back so they can still access the equity they built up. In February 2022, the company raised $57 million in Series C funding.
Based in New York and Charlotte, the company was founded in 2016. It profits by charging processing and other fees, calculated as a percentage of the home price along with rent and using third-party data to establish market rates.
With the acquisition of Ribbon — a company that claims a network of 75,000 agents and 13,000 loan officers — EasyKnock plans to expand its offerings by providing cash offer services to buyers. The company aims to launch a national marketplace later this year that will connect sellers with buyers, including investors.
While the companies have served separate customer bases, both have centered activities on partnering with real estate agents and lenders, rather than directly providing to mortgage providers or real estate brokers.
— Holden Walter-Warner