Australia’s biggest bank

Big 4 bank makes move into property management

PHOTO: Angus Sullivan (left), Toby Norton-Smith, Mina Radhakrishnan and Ruwin Perera celebrating the new partnerships.

Australia’s biggest bank is dipping its toe into property management, becoming a cornerstone investor in a $25 million capital raise by proptech platform :Different.

The digital property management platform announced it had raised $25 million this week, attracting the backing of the Commonwealth Bank’s start-up accelerating division x15ventures, as well as global venture capital heavyweight Antler, as it embarks on a major national expansion.

Under the deal, CBA and :Different will also form a strategic partnership to offer property management services to the bank’s 15 million customers.

Founded in 2017 by former Silicon Valley executives Mina Radhakrishnan and Ruwin Perera, :Different aimed to disrupt the property management sector by digitising processes such as maintenance requests and invoicing.

Ms Radhakrisnan said they started the company because they’d heard too many stories of property owners and renters having a subpar experience with property managers.

“Little communication and transparency into the important things that can make a real difference to the overall living and ownership experience,” she said.


Real Estate News Update | Thursday 23 September, 2021

“We knew things had to change, and with people who care and powerful technology, we could create a better experience for our property owners, their properties and the people who live in them.”

:Different has doubled its team in the past 12 months and is available to property owners across Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Under the CBA partnership, :Different services will be made available to customers on the CommBank app, in an aim to support investors throughout the entire buying and property ownership journey.

CBA Group executive retail banking services, Angus Sullivan, said the partnership would differentiate the bank’s offering for investors from its competitors’.

“Much like our recently announced investments in Amber and Little Birdie, this is an example of us carefully selecting a high-profile, high-growth tech enabled business and exclusively introducing them to CBA customers to offer an enhanced level of service,” Mr Sullivan said.

“We see this partnership as an important part of our overall home buying strategy and one that will be core to the way we support our customers to manage their homes and grow their wealth.”

Co-founder Ruwen Perara said being able to tap into CBA’s 15 million-strong customer base was a momentous opportunity for the company.

“Finance and homes are inextricably linked,” Mr Perera said.

“We are a trusted partner in the home and with CBA at our side, we will deliver value through reimagined products and services as the basis of a home platform, designed to service the needs of homes and the people who live in them.”