Real estate deal, home buying (Pixabay image)

The real estate wars continue.

Knock is the latest technology-driven real estate startup to close a huge venture deal. The company closed a $400 million in Series B equity and debt financing led by Foundry Group with participation from the company’s existing investors RRE Ventures, Corazon Capital, WTI, and FJ Labs. Company Ventures joined the round as a new investor.

The company plans to leverage the funds to continue to expand nationwide and to accelerate the development of their proprietary technology.

“The only way to revolutionize the real estate industry is by addressing both home buying and selling,” said Sean Black, co-founder and CEO of Knock. The company built a platform to facilitate real estate transactions for buyers and sellers, with an emphasis on focusing on those who are completing both sides of a real estate transaction simultaneously for two different properties.

Black and co-founder Jamie Glenn, who is Knock’s COO, launched in 2015 with the goal to bring greater certainty, convenience, and cost-effectiveness to home buying and selling. The company launched the “Trade-in” platform, expanding into Charlotte and the Triangle in 2018.

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“We love working with passionate founders who are on a mission to fundamentally change an industry,” said Seth Levine, partner at Foundry Group, who joined Knock’s board of directors as a part of the Series B deal. “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.”

Knock is now operating in five markets–Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Fort Worth, TX; and Raleigh-Durham, NC–and plans to expand in as many as five new markets in 2019, said Rachel Rampino, director of public relations for Knock, bringing the total number of markets to 10 by the end of the year.

To date, the company has hired more than 100 full-time employees across 15 states, with about 15 full-time employees in North Carolina. The company continues to hire for licensed local experts, real estate operations analysts, and transaction managers in Raleigh and licensed local experts, real estate operations analysts, and a home improvement project manager in Charlotte

A technology focus

Knock announced a number of product advancements in 2018, including its predictive home search tool, Knock Deals. With this tool, Knock also released its inaugural National Knock Deals Forecast, a predictive study of home price outcomes for on-market listings across the 45 top U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, driven by the company’s proprietary data science and machine learning-based algorithms.

According to their predictive model, 77.57 percent of listed homes in Charlotte’s MSA will sell below their list price in the first quarter of 2019. In the Triangle, 73.85 percent of homes are predicted to sell below their list price in the first quarter of 2019.

“By combining our platform technology with national machine learning-driven housing insights and the real life, in-home experiences of our team as we grow across the U.S., we’re bringing a level of transparency to real estate that will enable a more certain, convenient and cost-effective experience for home buyers and sellers,” said Glenn.

The latest round of funding, which brings the total equity and debt raised by Knock to more than $600 million, will be deployed to continue to innovate technical products and solutions that help home buyers and sellers, said Black.

The company’s $32.5 million Series A round was announced in January 2017 and was led by RRE Ventures with additional funding from Corazon Capital, Redpoint, Greycroft, Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and FJ Labs.

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