Jones, an Israeli PropTech startup developing a property management platform, secured $12.5 million in Series A funding. The investment was led by Khosla Ventures -- which has invested in companies like Square, DoorDash, OpenAI, and Impossible Foods in the past -- and JLL Spark. Additional investors in the round included Hetz Ventures, MetaProp, Camber Creek, Rudin Management, DivcoWest, and Sage Realty.
From commercial insurance to property management
The Jones platform provides a convenient platform for commercial property and workplace (like WeWork) owners to manage tenant engagement, services, and more. Through the Jones app, property managers can ensure compliance, hire vendors and limit liability, which are all necessary requirements in the U.S. However, property management hasn’t always been the Israeli startup’s focus.
“For too long, the commercial real estate industry has been held back by a burdensome compliance process that’s more focused on who can’t come into buildings than on how to get work done,” said Jones CEO and co-founder Omri Stern. “We’re excited to use this investment to accelerate our mission to make it easier to get work done while ensuring best-in-class compliance. We’re proud to have earned the trust of our clients, who turn to us as the risk and compliance gatekeeper for the commercial real estate industry.”
Michael Rudman, CTO and co-founder, explained in a Geektime interview that the company’s platform has been through change over the last year and a half. From selling commercial insurance to providing property management.
“From day one, we developed software for managing renter and vendor insurance coverage; out of an idea that we’d provide B2B2C insurance. Apparently though, we have helped solve a much greater challenge. Our commercial success is proof that our solution provides immense value to help customers overcome their pain,” says Rudman. He adds that Jones decided to change its original focus and transition into the asset management world -- a move that opened new opportunities for the company, such as creating a marketplace for property services.
Jones changed its focus a year and a half ago, just before the outbreak of the global pandemic that kept everyone in their homes and out of the office. On paper, it sounds like quite the blow for a company that had just moved into the office space. However Rudman says “not exactly”. “Revenue grew 10X during the COVID lockdowns. One reason for growth is that we offered commercial property a remote management platform for scheduling maintenance. Another reason was that during a crisis, real estate companies are more exposed to lawsuits; requiring them to implement a system like ours to reduce risk and ensure compliance,” notes Rudman.
Jones was founded in 2017 by Rudman and Omri Stern. The Israeli startup has raised almost $20 million to date and has offices in Tel Aviv and New York. Jones aims to use the capital to usher procurement into the digital age with the expansion of its network of vendors, as well as recruiting new talent to the company’s team of 25 people.