Doorkee Raises $5.7M in Funding to Grow Tech Platform Focused on Reinventing Rent for Landlords, Apartment Seekers and Departing Tenants
Doorkee, the all-in-one digital platform offering landlords and tenants a modern solution to the antiquated rental process, today announced that it raised $5.7 million in early-stage funding. The round was led by prominent New York City landlord Simon Baron Development and early-stage venture capital firms Corigin Ventures and Alpha Edison, which both have significant experience investing in proptech startups. Investors in the round also included well-known landlords Stonehenge NYC and Bushburg Properties. Simon Baron, Stonehenge and Bushburg have been instrumental in helping Doorkee scale and refine its differentiated value proposition, which focuses on providing a better moving experience for all involved.
Co-founders John Fagan, CEO, and Jordan Franklin, COO, created Doorkee in 2019 to streamline and optimize the rental process by creating a peer-to-peer market that solves for inefficiencies and common problems experienced by landlords, departing tenants and apartment seekers. By bringing the entire process online, Doorkee creates a flywheel effect that benefits all parties:
In New York City, where Doorkee is currently operating, rental broker fees total approximately $600 million per year. Doorkee's end-to-end digital platform is engineered to put this money back into the pockets of landlords and renters by providing them with full control over the rental process. The platform is designed to dramatically reduce the amount of time apartments sit vacant between tenancies, helping to reduce the estimated $3.1 billion in unnecessary annual vacancy costs across New York City. These benefits are core reasons why Doorkee has managed to steadily grow its landlord and renter user base since its launch in September 2019. Capital from the fundraise is being used to expand Doorkee's platform, as well as fuel its expansion into other major markets across the U.S.
"Simply put, removing the middle man has allowed us to create significant cost savings for landlords and renters alike. For example, the total cost to New York landlords of using Doorkee is around 60% lower than the typical combined broker fee and vacancy cost, representing an average savings of around $5,000 per apartment," said Franklin. "The time for innovating the rental process is long overdue, and this has never been more true than in the situation we find ourselves in today with COVID-19, which is forcing people to transact almost entirely online. This reflects an acceleration of shifting consumer behaviors that have been long in the making. We are confident it will have a meaningful impact on consumer behavior for the long-term, further supporting the significant market opportunity to scale our platform."
Landlords currently using Doorkee own more than 40,000 rental units throughout New York City. In addition to Simon Baron Development and Bushburg Properties, other notable landlords on the platform include Corigin Real Estate, Plaza Management, First Service Residential, MD Squared and R.A. Cohen & Associates.
Ryan Freedman, General Partner of Corigin Ventures, added, "Doorkee is exactly the type of business we look to partner with. In addition to being run by knowledgeable, passionate and forward-thinking founders, the platform is layering innovative technology over a daily life experience, helping to enhance the way renters transact and landlords operate."
Matthew Baron, President at Simon Baron Development, said, "As a landlord with hundreds of rental units across New York, one of the most difficult logistical hurdles to overcome is resident turnover. We often find out less than 30 days in advance that a tenant doesn't plan to renew their lease, which presents us with a short runway to market and lease the space - often resulting in longer vacancy time between tenants. This is why a platform like Doorkee is so promising, and it's why we chose to invest. They're helping us to reduce our vacancy time, leading to significant cost savings, and providing a viable alternative to the traditional rental process that benefits us and our tenants."
Prior to founding Doorkee, Fagan worked for the legal team at BlackRock and as a lawyer and consultant Voya Financial. Franklin led integrations at Element Solutions Inc. and was a lawyer at Greenberg Traurig. These experiences contributed to their business and legal acumen. Fagan became a broker and Franklin became a licensed real estate salesperson during the creation of Doorkee.