Real estate startup Knock has added Airbnb executive Vijaya Kaza to its board of directors, according to an announcement on Thursday.
Kaza has 20 years of experience in the global consumer and business-to-business tech industries, and has led Airbnb’s information security team for two years as the chief security officer and head of engineering and data science for trust and safety. During her tenure, Kaza most notably led the charge to improve Airbnb’s information security and consumer experience in preparation for the company’s Dec. 2020 IPO.
In recognition of her work at Airbnb and previous international companies including Lookout, FireEye and Cisco, Kaza was named one of Industry Wired Magazine‘s Top Revolutionary Women in Security in 2019.
“We are very pleased that Vijaya has chosen to bring her vast product and engineering experience to the Knock board as we continue to ramp up the growth of our business,” Knock co-founder and CEO Sean Black said. “Vijaya’s leadership experience managing Airbnb’s Trust technology team and leveraging data science to shape the company’s product strategy and consumer experience gives her a unique perspective that will be invaluable as we build a powerful platform that helps people buy their dream home before selling their old house.”
In an emailed statement to Inman, Black elaborated on Kaza’s expertise and what valuable insight she will bring to the company’s board of directors, which includes RRE Ventures General Partner Raju Rishi, Foundry Group co-founder Seth Levine, and Yelp executive Jed Nachman.
“What Vijaya brings to Knock from Airbnb is the experience of building a consumer user experience that is the most delightful and frictionless while at the same time the most secure, all during hyper-growth,” Black said. “Knock helps people make the biggest purchase of their lives and sell their biggest financial asset in one transaction, so a user experience that is both delightful and secure is paramount, especially as we scale across the country.”
Black said Knock has aggressive growth goals for Knock Home Swap, which allows homesellers to make non-contingent offers on potential new houses, backed by a Knock mortgage. Home Swap is available in 15 markets, and Knock plans to double it by the end of 2021 — nine more markets than its original goal of 21.
“[Our goals are] to double the number of markets that we serve while increasing the number of partner agents by 10x and the number of Home Swap customers, and by default profitable revenue, by 600 percent,” he explained while noting the company doesn’t share specific revenue numbers.
Kaza said she’s excited to join Knock’s board of directors and help the company scale quickly and safely while enhancing the consumer experience.
“Knock’s impressive growth trajectory is based on the fact that the company is solving a real problem that anyone who is a homeowner and wants to buy a new home has faced in a very unique way,” she said. “The company’s focus on leveraging technology to bring certainty, convenience and cost savings to the everyday experience of buying and selling a home is a win for consumers and the agents it partners with.”