Real-Estate Startup Knotel Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Real-estate startup Knotel Inc. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy for its U.S. business on Saturday, agreeing for the company to be taken over by real-estate services firm Newmark Group Inc.

Knotel said Sunday that it filed for bankruptcy to reorganize its real-estate footprint and enable the sale to go through.

The moves are the latest sign that the Covid-19 pandemic has upended the once-booming co-working industry.

New York-based Knotel, founded in 2016, raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors. It expanded rapidly for years and was one of the more aggressive competitors in the co-working and flexible office space sector, becoming one of WeWork’s fiercest rivals.

In August 2019, Knotel said it had reached a valuation of more than $1 billion thanks to a funding round led by Wafra Inc., an affiliate of a Kuwaiti sovereign-wealth fund. But its revenue dropped significantly during the pandemic, and Knotel has faced lawsuits over unpaid rent from landlords.

“The pandemic created a uniquely challenging operating environment, with significant impacts on leasing velocity and the rate of renewals in key markets, particularly New York and San Francisco,” co-founder

Amol Sarva

said in a statement. “We must address this now to position our business

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Real estate technology SPAC Fifth Wall Acquisition I files for a $250 million IPO

Fifth Wall Acquisition I, a blank check company targeting a real estate technology business, filed on Wednesday with the SEC to raise up to $250 million in an initial public offering.

The Los Angeles, CA-based company plans to raise $250 million by offering 25 million units at $10. Each unit will consist of one share of common stock and one-third of a warrant, exercisable at $11.50. At the proposed deal size, Fifth Wall Acquisition I would command a market value of $313 million.

The company is led by CEO and Chairman Brendan Wallace, who has served as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fifth Wall Ventures since 2016, and CFO and Director Andriy Mykhaylovskyy, who has been a Managing Partner at Fifth Wall Ventures since 2017. Fifth Wall Acquisition I intends to leverage its management team’s experience and target a technology business focusing on verticals of the real estate industry, as well as the adjacent industries that collectively make up the human-made environment that provides the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings to cities and beyond, which they refer to as the “Built World.”

Fifth Wall Acquisition I was founded in 2020 and plans to

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Green home improvement lender Renovate America files for bankruptcy

San Diego-based Renovate America, which provided financing for solar and other energy saving home improvements, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week and plans to sell off assets to help repay creditors.

The once high-flying company said it was derailed in part by legislation that tightened underwriting requirements for Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, financing for green home upgrades.

It also has been the target of 56 lawsuits, including three proposed class actions, according to bankruptcy filings. It spent $15 million in the past two years in litigation expenses.

And Renovate America experienced further financial declines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a 47 percent drop this year in loan originations in its PACE division.

Founded in 2009, Renovate America became the largest originator of PACE financing in California. By 2016, it had captured about 60 percent of the $1.5 billion market. It employed nearly 650 workers at its peak.

Nationwide, Renovate America financed 38,000 home upgrades in three states that adopted PACE programs, which aimed to reduce energy consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The company originated $944 million in PACE financing in 2016 alone, marketing the program under the HERO brand name.

California enabled

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