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Real estate property management software giant RealPage to acquire Seattle startup Knock

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Knock co-founders Tom Petry and Demetri Themelis. (Knock Photo)

Knock, a Seattle software startup that helps apartment property managers, will be acquired by RealPage, a real estate giant backed by Thoma Bravo that also provides technology services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Knock helps apartment property managers manage marketing, sales, CRM, retention, performance management, predictive analytics, applicant screening, and reporting. Its products can be used with existing property management software systems and other communication and productivity apps.

The 182-person company saw increased activity as the pandemic accelerated adoption of tech services such as virtual apartment tours and digital communication with prospects and tenants. Knock recently surpassed two million units served on its platform.

“Speechless. Nearly a decade after our journey began we are thrilled to finish this chapter and begin a new one,” Knock CEO and co-founder Demetri Themelis said in a LinkedIn post.

Knock’s brand will remain after the acquisition is complete.

Knock, originally called ZipDigs, was co-founded in 2014 by Themelis and Tom Petry, two University of Washington grads who previously worked together at UBS Wealth Management. The entrepreneurs were frustrated with the leasing process, specifically with how difficult it was to communicate with landlords. Jay Zeng, the company’s other co-founder, left in April 2018.

The company had raised $47 million from investors including Fifth Wall, Madrona Venture Group, Lead Edge Capital, Second Avenue Partners and Seven Peaks Ventures.

“Knock is going to be the crown jewel of the RealPage front office suite, and I’m looking forward to watching the combined teams working together to continue to modernize the multi-family customer journey through intelligence and automation,” Madrona Managing Director Scott Jacobson said in a LinkedIn post.

M&A activity dropped significantly in the third quarter, driven by a number of factors including public stock market declines and rising interest rates, Axios reported Friday.

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