EasyKnock Secures New Venture Capital Funding to Unlock Home Equity for Millions

The First ‘Sell-and-Stay’ Provider Has Secured Over $100 Million Total in Equity and Debt Financing

NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EasyKnock, the first institutionalized residential sale leaseback platform in the world, announced today that it has closed $3.5 million seed financing in addition to new debt financing of $100 million that will be used to increase real estate closings through its platform. Seed investors include Montage Ventures, Crestar Partners and Blumberg Capital. The funding will enable EasyKnock to fuel customer growth and expand into new markets.

EasyKnock is the first commercialized, residential sale leaseback program in the U.S. The company enables homeowners to “sell & stay;” an innovative method for owners to sell their home while remaining in residence as a rental property with flexible terms. With short and long-term lease periods and repurchase options available at any time, customers can regain ownership when they are ready. 

“There is an explosion in single family rentals in the United States and a huge hole for homeowners unable to release equity out of their home,” said Jarred Kessler, CEO and cofounder of EasyKnock. “The addressable market for ‘Sell & Stay’ is $2.6 trillion, and this round of funding will enable us to expand our footprint and provide homeowners the flexible options they need.” 

Residential real estate closings through EasyKnock’s Sell & Stay program have grown significantly since the company launched in 2016. With this round, EasyKnock will scale transactions by designing an AI-driven qualification and underwriting engine to identify target customers. The company will also use data to extract new value opportunities for customers and grow its advocacy base through exemplary customer service and satisfaction. In addition, EasyKnock will partner with mortgage companies to pay a referral fee for their rejected customers.

"U.S. consumers are sitting on over $14.5 trillion in home equity, yet there are few options for them to access this capital,” said Matthew Murphy, Partner at Montage Ventures. "We're excited to partner with EasyKnock to offer this unique platform as it will help homeowners unlock the value of their home without having to move.”

EasyKnock was founded because pristine credit requirements and generational wealth shifts are leading to significantly decreased home equity lending. Due to increased regulations, annual home equity borrowing has dropped 88% since 2003. There are millions of Americans unable to unlock the equity in their home when they need it, such as those who have outstanding high interest debt, non W2 earners, or people who believe their financial situation will improve with time. As a result, their choices are to sell and move, or to remain cut off from access the much needed cash that could help with debt repayment, life events, or starting a small business. 

EasyKnock offers a better way. The company buys homes for market value and the seller-tenant pays market rent. The purchase is part cash from the sale, part purchase option, which provides a hopeful path to ownership. The lease can be renewed annually, and the purchase option prices increases annually by fixed amount per the lease. Unlike traditional financing options, EasyKnock is not a lender and does not have the same stringent standards such as a minimum FICO score or household income.

EasyKnock raised $1.2 million in seed funding in 2017, which it used to expand the team and refine product-market fit. The company is projected to hit profitability in 2019.

About EasyKnock 
EasyKnock founders Jarred Kessler and Benjamin Black boast a collective forty years in the real estate, business development, sales and technology industries. Launched in 2016, EasyKnock is the first institutionalized sale leaseback residential prop-tech platform in the world. EasyKnock’s Sell & Stay program enables customers to release the equity in their home without traditional credit score standards and constraints. 

Tony Keller