Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and REA Group are among several high profile investors backing a $3 million Series A round by fragmented property platform Bricklet, valuing the startup at $28 million after just 18 months.
Original investors Lakeba, Mirvac Group (ASX: MGR), Stockland (ASX: SGP) and Mihubb also joined the round, along with property investment firm Ironfish.
The proptech venture plans to use the funds on branding and marketing activity.
In the 12 months since selling its first “bricklet” – for example a $1 million property might be fragmented into 40 bricklets at $25,000 each – in February 2020, the platform as sold fractional ownership worth more than $15 million.
The business acts like a share exchange for properties, allowing the original owner, including developers, to carve up their asset into smaller portions, worth around $20,000 each, for sale via Bricklet.
The platform currently has several apartments and townhouses, mostly new-build, in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the ACT, on its books, with bricklets priced between around $17,500 and $30,500.
The company’s point of difference is that each buyer is registered on the property title and can sell their “bricklet” independently of the others. Bricklet charges a 6% fee to purchases to cover costs such as such as stamp duty, legals, and title registration.
Co-founder and CEO Darren Younger said that they’d spent the last 18 months refining the platform.
“This has included making bricklets accessible to all Australians, launching a buy now pay later option and partnering with developers to bring high-quality property onto the platform,” he said.
“Having proven the commercial viability of our model, we now need to get the word out to all Australians. Letting them know there is a better way to invest, own and sell investment property. Our latest funding round will let us do just that, with our new investors bringing on board the means to engage with the property investment community.”
Investor Giuseppe Porcelli, Group CEO of Lakeba, said Bricklet had experienced “phenomenal” growth in less than 18 months.
“In closing its Series A funding round, Bricklet is now ready to accelerate its next growth phase. With its aim to become the de-facto platform to buy, sell and own investment property – in fragments,” he said.
REA Group’s investment is its third bet on proptech startups in recent months, following real estate BNPL CampaignAgent and agent platform Realtair.