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Knock Raises $400M To Simplify Home Buying

Knock wants to make trading in your home as easy as it is to trade in your car, and it just raised $400 million to help it further that goal.

The startup, which was formed in 2015 by Trulia founding team members Sean Black and Jamie Glenn, is describing its latest financing as a Series B equity and debt financing. They’re not breaking down how much of what was raised was debt, and how much was equity, but Knock spokesperson Rachel Rampino told me this morning that “both sides of it are pretty significant.”

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Foundry Group led the equity portion of the round, which also included participation from existing investors RRE Ventures, Corazon Capital, WTI, and FJ Labs, and new investor Company Ventures. As part of the financing, Foundry Group partner Seth Levine is joining Knock’s board of directors.

The funding brings the company’s total raised since inception to $434.5 million, according to its Crunchbase profile. Including debt raised between its Series A and Series B, Knock has actually raised a total of $600 million, according to Rampino.

“We’re very excited about the debt portion because a huge piece of what we do is buy customers’ homes on their behalf before they sell their own,” Rampino said. “So, the more debt we have enables us to buy more homes for customers in more cost-effective ways.”

Knock has dual headquarters in New York and San Francisco, but also has a significant operational presence in Atlanta, where it first launched its product in 2016. The company more than tripled its headcount in 2018, growing from about 30 employees at the beginning of the year to about 100 today—one-third of which is focused on engineering, product, and data science, according to Rampino.

The Opendoor competitor has helped about 4,000 people trade in their homes since launching its product in 2016. Currently, Knock is set up in five markets: Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Dallas, Texas, and Fort Worth, Texas. Part of its goal with the financing is to double the number of U.S. markets it serves by 2020, according to Rampino. It also plans to “double down” on further development of its technology, she added.

Its products include a “Knock Deals” predictive home search tool, which ranks houses from Awful to Awesome, based on a data science-driven ranking of listings. It also offers a “National Knock Deals Forecast,” a machine learning-driven predictive analysis of on-market homes expected to sell below original list prices, or at a “deal,” in 45 top U.S. metros.

In a written statement, Foundry Group’s Levine said Knock is poised to “transform the outdated real estate industry.”

“At Foundry we love working with passionate founders who are on a mission to fundamentally change an industry,” he said. “The Knock team is exactly that — combining years of experience in real estate technology with a fundamental drive to change the way consumers buy and sell homes.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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