Accounting firm Proper banks $9M Series A to automate property management – ​​TechCrunch

Proper, an automated accounting and bookkeeping service for property managers, announced Wednesday that it has raised $9 million in Series A funding in a round led by QED.

Existing investors MetaProp, Expa and Bling Capital also participated in the round, giving the San Francisco-based proptech company a total amount raised of $13.8 million. The company provided $4.8 million in seed funding last August.

CEO Mark Rojas, whose background is in product development, founded Proper in 2017 after spending a year and a half learning the ropes in a property manager‘s office. He was looking at the maintenance side of the business when he realized how the accounting part of the business “was almost a dumpster fire”.

“I knew the space was full of problems to solve and how accounting was a bigger part of the operations that needed to be run each month and tied everything else together,” Rojas told TechCrunch. “Property managers often don’t come from an accounting background – they usually have a real estate license, so the lack of expertise can put them in a position where they can’t grow their portfolio, or they try to do it, things break.”

Correct dashboard

Proper’s technology service is designed to execute those specific processes related to real estate accounting and apply automation to repetitive ones. The company said property managers with 1,000 doors can see 63% higher profit margins and spend 45% less time per year on accounting.

Rojas says accounting automation in real estate has been overlooked and few startups have stepped up to solve it like Proper. He sees proptech as still in its infancy, with much of the innovation coming from buying, selling and maintaining the home rather than accounting. Nor does it have a “champion company” leading the way.

Rather than sit back and wait for a business like this to emerge, Proper pivoted to tackle accounting in early 2020 and has seen “growth explode” over the past year. Rojas said he saw the opportunity to not only scale aggressively on the revenue side, but to build a sustainable business that was sustainable.

Real estate is the most valuable asset class, and what I’m looking at is how big this industry could be,” he added. “This idea that there are no competitors allows us to be aggressive, to be the go-to brand and to evolve with this high demand.”

Now armed with Series A funding, the company intends to focus on operations, product development, build a new customer-focused platform, and increase headcount across all business functions. Rojas said he grew from zero to $2.3 million in annual recurring revenue in 2020 over 12 months. Proper also grew from 15 to 120 employees in 2021 and expects to end the year with around 200.

Proper has suspended sales and marketing in order to expand, and Rojas is ready to hit the play button again. He is also happy to work with QED, which is in alignment with the company’s vision.

As part of the investment, QED partner Matt Risley joins Proper’s board of directors. Risley’s background is in fintech, and he was previously CFO of e-commerce payment platform Klarna.

Risley told TechCrunch he first met Rojas during Proper’s seed round and has been following the growth of the company as his initial ideas come to fruition. He considers Proper among real estate success stories that also include RealPage, Yardi and AvidXchange.

He has spent time with small business owners using Proper and says his product is a good fit for the market.

“What we consistently see is that they are passionate about the core business of creating value for customers and have real expertise,” Risley said. “We also see the relief that Proper gives property owners and managers to do the bookkeeping. Anything that allows small businesses to spend more time doing what they love about their business, they will grab it.