Proper raises $4.8M to automate bookkeeping for property managers

Steven Loeb · August 4, 2020 · Short URL:

The company has seen its ARR go from zero to $1.1 million in the last five months

Seemingly very job, and every industry, is now being touched by automation, from healthcare to education, and everything in between. Some are just getting there faster than others, though; one area that hasn't quite gotten there yet with this technologu, but needs to, is property management. 

"Running accounting in-house is a huge barrier to growth for property managers; variable costs like salaries, benefits, payroll taxes, and office space, make it difficult for property managers to scale their business," explained Mark Rojas, founder and CEO of Proper.

Proper is a provider of AI and machine learning-based accounting and bookkeeping services for property managers and owners. On Tuesday, the company announced that it completed a $4.8 million seed funding round from MetaProp, Expa and Bling.

"Think of it this way: The entire world is filled with buildings. Just downright covered in ‘em. You’re probably inside of one right now. Buildings are where we do almost everything. They’re where we live, where we work, and where we gather, so their health has a big impact on our quality of life," he said.

"To understand, and thereby maintain, the health of the world’s buildings, property managers desperately need one thing more than anything else: really, really good accounting and bookkeeping.  The work we do helps ensure a better quality of life for everyone who lives, works, or gathers in buildings and we think that’s pretty neat."

Founded in 2017, Proper will set up accounting flows, optimizing their software, and put systems in place to handle accounting and bookkeeping for its customers, who are typically property managers with between 200 and 10,000 units. It also provides them with tax services and access to accountants who work with software such as Appfolio, Buildium, Propertyware, Rent Manager, Quickbooks and Yardi.

Proper's software can, for example, help with straightening out months of back books, which, in turn, can mean "avoiding costly mistakes, and saving thousands of dollars every month," Rojas said.

The company's growth rate has "steadily increased during COVID," Rojas told me; it now has 40 customers across the US and plans to double that number by the end of 2020. The company’s annual recurring revenue also went from zero to $1.1 million in the last five months. 

"Property management is already a low-margin, high-volume business; because of COVID, we’re seeing even more PMs looking for an accounting solution that is remote, and saves them money," he said. 

For its average customer, Proper is able to reduces accounting costs by up to 30 percent, and can increase profit margins by up to 45 percent. 

This new funding will go toward allowing the company to build out its automation tools, specifically its Accounts Payable tool," which serves to super-power our team of property accountants."

"It’s one of the ways we’re able to provide more efficient, cost-effective services. We plan to continue advancing our AP automation tool, as well as additional tools we have in development for improving the processes surrounding bank reconciliations and Accounts Receivable," said Rojas. 

The goal for Proper, he told me, is "to be the go-to solution for handling accounting for property."

"This means providing services that are superior to in-house accounting models (Proper is more efficient and economical) as well as ensuring our services are easily scalable so we can serve anyone, anywhere who manages property."

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