What Is Knox Financial?
The fintech startup was launched in 2018 by David Friedman and Spencer Taylor. This is not the first company in Friedman’s roster, as he founded Boston Logic, an integrated marketing platform and online marketing service for real estate offices and agents, in 2004. That business, which is now named Propertybase, was acquired by multibillion-dollar private equity investment firm Providence Equity in 2016.
As for Knox Financial, the idea for the fintech business came from Friedman’s own experience selling his home, according to the company website. The entrepreneur missed out on a major opportunity for profit because there was no easy way for him to turn his property into an investment property. The founders then launched their business, Knox Financial, in 2019, with the goal of offering a “completely hands-off way” to convert a home into an investment property.
To do this, the startup relies heavily on technology. Knox Financial’s “Frictionless Ownership Platform” does all the leg work, automating and monitoring the insurance, taxes, tenant and property care, and banking and bill payment for a property.
Money and Business Investors
The fintech company has raised a total of $14.7 million in the three years since it was founded. In 2019, the startup pulled in $1.4 million in a pre-seed round. The company then closed on a $3 million seed round in January 2020 that was led by Greycroft Partners, a New York-based venture capital firm.
The $10 million Series A round that closed this month again involved Greycroft, as well as other investment firms: Pillar VC, 2LVC, and Gaingels. G20 Ventures, a Boston-based firm, was the leader of the round.
“Investing platforms such as Betterment have collapsed multiple advising and optimization activities into a simple single-sign-on service, and Knox is the first company to apply this type model to residential real estate investing,” G20 Ventures co-founder and partner Bob Hower said in a statement about the investment round.
The Future of the Company
The fintech startup has seen massive growth since the investment money started pouring in, the founders told TechCrunch in a recent interview. When it had its seed round in 2020, the business was only operating in Boston, with roughly 50 units on its algorithm-based platform, Friedman said. However, the real estate startup now has “hundreds” of investment properties on its platform and is overseeing a portfolio of over $100 million.
The founders plan to continue expanding the business geographically with this recent capital. They are hoping to boost their customer base with the ultimate goal of becoming the “de facto platform for real estate investment acquisition and ownership,” according to Friedman. “We have to be coast to coast to do that for everybody. So, we’re still very early in our growth trajectory.”
About the Author
Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.