The company has built a massive user base in the U.S. and has begun to expand to the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany. According to Tolia, Nextdoor is now used by homeowners in 80 percent of the U.S., and in hot real estate markets like the Bay Area, at least half of homeowners use the social network.
Revenue has remained elusive despite Nextdoor reaching a $1 billion valuation more than two years ago. The company said in a blog post in June that until this year the business has been funded by its investors including Benchmark, Greylock Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, but it recently started surfacing sponsored content from select businesses.
“We have always believed that there is a tremendous opportunity to connect neighbors with businesses that serve the local community,” the post said.
Even though it’s not a listings engine or a marketplace, Nextdoor’s new real estate section puts it in competition with sites like Zillow, Trulia (owned by Zillow) and Redfin. Its launch also follows Facebook’s rollout of ad units for the real estate industry, which allow listings to appear in users’ feeds on Facebook or Instagram.
“Our product is not an in-feed ad, and is not focused on listings,” Tolia said.
Nextdoor didn’t originally set out with the idea of serving the real estate industry, according to Tolia. Instead, the company observed which industries were creating profiles most on the site. Real estate offices claimed the most, followed by pet sitters.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly described how the company recognized interest from real estate professionals.