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EasyKnock acquires power buying platform Ribbon

The acquisition comes after Ribbon laid off 85% of its staff in November

Residential sale-leaseback platform EasyKnock has acquired struggling power buyer and cash offer platform Ribbon

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to bring Ribbon and EasyKnock’s cutting edge financial products together under one roof to provide more options and a competitive advantage to consumers and industry partners nation-wide,” Jarred Kessler, the CEO and co-founder of EasyKnock, said in a statement. “This marks the beginning of a new wave of innovation in the real estate sector, the advent of PropTech 3.0. By combining these product suites and offering solutions for every stop along the homeownership journey, we are better positioned to responsibly empower more families with the financial flexibility and control they need to achieve their goals.”

According to the release, through this acquisition, EasyKnock is accelerating the development of its marketplace, which the firm describes as a suite of products and services that will offer consumers alternative ways to buy and sell, finance new homes and utilize their equity. EasyKnock said it plans to launch its marketplace later this year. 

“There was no doubt in my mind that Ribbon was a pioneer in the industry and a premier player, and when we connected I thought it was the best opportunity we could get in terms of bringing homebuying, homeselling and agent solutions all under one roof,” Kessler wrote in an email. “We both foresee consolidation and dexterity being the future in PropTech as singular tools are no longer cutting it, and the most multifaceted tools will win at the end of the day. Together, we’re getting ahead of the curve.”

Following the acquisition, EasyKnock and Ribbon said they will work with strategic partners to bring their expanded product suite to key markets, with plans for eventual national expansion. 

“Making homeownership achievable has been Ribbon’s mission and guiding light since its inception. EasyKnock and Ribbon share a vision of enhancing consumer choice in the industry, facilitating its success and enabling a more simplified buying and selling experience,” Shaival Shah, the CEO and co-founder of Ribbon, said in a statement.  “We are thrilled to come together with EasyKnock and their pioneering sale-leaseback offering to provide solutions to more and more people. Combined with Ribbon’s award-winning home buying solutions and network of 90,000 agents and lenders, we are motivated to empower consumers across the country.”

In an email, Shah added: “From the start, our strategic value on coming together was very aligned. It is super important for companies to have diverse channels to continue to scale for this market change, and we are lining up a strong buy side and sell side experience, side-by-side. We believe there’s strength and foresight in what we’re bringing together.”

The power buyer struggled to navigate the rapid housing market shift in the second half of last year. In early August, Ribbon announced that it was cutting 136 positions or roughly 40% of its headcount at the time. In mid-November, the firm underwent another round of layoffs, cutting 85% of staff and retaining less than 30 employees. The firm also announced that it was suspending its cash offer service program

Founded in 2017 by Shah and chief technology officer Wei Gan, Ribbon raised over $900 million in funding, with investors including Goldman Sachs and Greylock. But, as the housing market slowed last year, Ribbon and other power buying firms struggled to find their footing in the shifting market.

The power buying model is designed to give buyers an edge in a highly competitive market, but as homebuyer competition cooled, fewer buyers felt the need to utilize various cash offer products. In addition, the power buying firms, like Ribbon, lack brand recognition among consumers they need to reach, and the cash fronted by VCs is finite.