Knock hires Lyft’s Michelle DeBella as CFO


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Knock CFO Michelle DeBella and CEO Sean Black (photo by Knock; PR Newswire)

Knock CFO Michelle DeBella and CEO Sean Black (photo by Knock; PR Newswire)

Knock, a startup that helps people buy new homes before selling their old ones, has used former CFO Lyft and Uber as its new CFO.

The company said Michelle DeBella would report directly to Knock co-founder and CEO Sean Black, who had previously co-founded Trulia. It will focus on supporting the “profitable growth” of Knock’s Home Swap, which pre-finances mortgages to give homeowners more flexibility in buying and selling a home.

DeBella was most recently Vice President of Transformation and Financial Management at Lyft.
Prior to that, she was the global head of internal audit at Uber.

In both companies, it helped scale the finance department before their IPO, Knock said. Prior to that, she spent 17 years at Ernst & Young and almost ten years at Hewlett Packard.

New York – based Knock has increased more than $ 600 million into debt and equity since 2015. Investors include RRE ventures, Foundry Group, Redpoint, Greycroft, Corazon Capital, Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital and FJ Labs.

Black said in a statement that DeBella joins Knock at a “critical point of inflection” on the company’s trajectory.

Until last year, Knock’s main offer was an exchange program, buying houses on behalf of consumers while helping them sell and list their old houses. Once he sold the house, the seller paid Knock back.

With reference to friction in this model, Knock rolled out its new Home Swap program in July 2020. Knock also offers sellers interest-free bridging loans, up to $ 25,000, to repair their old homes before putting them on sale. If the house is not sold within six months, Knock will offer a back-up offer.

Knock’s Home Swap is available in 15 markets, including Arizona, Colorado and Texas. It has recently spread to South Florida. Knock plans to expand to 21 markets by mid-2021 and 75 markets by 2023.


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