Melbourne real estate startup ActivePipe has raised $5.9 million in a Series A round led by NAB Ventures, the venture capital outfit of National Australia Bank (NAB), with participation from PieLab Venture Partners and strategic individual investors.
Launched in 2015 by Ashley Farrugia and Gavan Stewart, ActivePipe has created an automated communications platform for real estate agents.
With the aim to take the guesswork out of the equation for agents and brokers, the platform looks to 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.
Farrugia, CEO of ActivePipe, said the startup is “delighted” to have closed the round so soon after raising its pre-Series A round of $1.8 million last August.
“With our growth in Australia continuing to accelerate, we are now poised and funded to capitalise on the global opportunity for ActivePipe,” he said.
“Buying and selling real estate is a people business where technology can dramatically enhance the customer experience. ActivePipe is as relevant in the US and UK as it is in Australia where our users enjoy stellar ROI on their investment in our platform.”
Having expanded into the UK last year, ActivePipe stated that it is servicing more than 50 brands, including McGrath, Ray White, and LJ Hooker, and over 1,150 real estate offices.
Todd Forest, managing director of NAB Ventures, said he was excited to invest in ActivePipe, with the investment holding a strategic element for the bank, given its interest in mortgage broking.
“In Active Pipe, NAB Ventures has invested in an exceptional team that is rapidly innovating and deploying technology that allows better engagement at a really important point in the property buying journey,” he said.
“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.”
The investment follows that of Westpac into fintech company Uno Home Loans earlier this week, with the bank investing a further $25 million in the startup to bring its total investment in the startup to $51.5 million.
Gary Thursby, chief strategy officer at Westpac, said of the bank’s further investment, “We continue to be impressed with the rapid growth of Uno’s business, the agility of its business model and the attractiveness of its online mortgage proposition to customers.”
For NAB Ventures, the investment in ActivePipe is its latest since its backing of open banking startup Basiq last June, with NAB Ventures investing an undisclosed sum with Westpac-backed VC firm Reinventure.
Basiq’s algorithm scrapes financial data from the web pages of banks to supply fintechs with data to help them compete with the big banks. Currently in its early stages, the solution looks to evolve into its own online banking platform that harnesses various application programming interfaces (APIs) to improve a customer’s experience with financial services.
Image: Ashley Faruggia.