Property investment platform BrickX has closed out a $9 million Series A funding round with funding from NAB Ventures.
NAB Ventures, the venture capital arm of big four bank NAB, joins Westpac-backed VC firm Reinventure in taking a stake in the startup, with Reinventure having announced its investment in November. The closing of the Series A brings the total raised by the startup to date to $12.5 million.
Founded in 2014, Brickx is an online platform allowing individuals to invest in the residential property market one brick at a time. With the startup targeting properties in the value range of $400,000 to $2 million, a property is purchased and put into a trust, then split into 10,000 units – or bricks – which can then be bought by investors through the platform.
The startup reported it now has over 11,000 active members invested in more than a dozen properties across Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide.
These investors are paid a monthly share of the net rental income into their digital wallet, which can be then reinvested into more bricks or withdrawn. Properties yield around 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent, depending on location.
Todd Forest, managing director of NAB Ventures, said the investment in the platform follows the work NAB Ventures did to “[scan] the market globally” to identify a range of companies and business models that aim to help create a “pathway to property ownership”.
“NAB Ventures chose BrickX as the leading opportunity, based on its unique business model, exceptional user experience and the opportunity to leverage the platform to innovate and help more Australians with their home ownership goals,” he said.
BrickX CEO, Anthony Millett added that the “alignment” between the two organisations has a “strong and unified purpose”, given housing affordability is front of mind for Australian banks.
“BrickX is expanding rapidly and this high profile and experienced group of investors will help us in our goal to assist millions of Australians to get their foot onto the property ladder,” he said.
The investment into BrickX follows NAB Ventures’ backing of real estate-focused startup ActivePipe earlier this month.
Raising $5.9 million in a Series A round led by NAB Ventures, ActivePipe aims to take the guesswork out of the equation for agents and brokers and help them more easily identify and convert potential buyers and sellers through features including automated property alerts and sales reports, ‘data hygiene’ surveys to help users clean and profile their databases, and predictive data analytics to help them determine who is ready to transact.
Forest said of the investment at the time, “We’re looking forward to the insights we can gain from working with Ash and his team and exploring how we can potentially leverage this capability for NAB and customers in the future.”
Further underlining the interest Australian banks have in property and everything property-adjacent, Westpac also doubled down on its backing of Uno Home Loans, pouring in $25 million into the platform in early February.
Image: Todd Forest and Anthony Millett.