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News & Analysis

Billionaire Alex Waislitz and regional media tsar Antony Catalano chip $6 million into AI-based proptech

- June 9, 2021 2 MIN READ
real estate, housing, for sale
Photo: AdobeStock
An AI-based chatbot startup that allows real estate agents to communicate with customers 24/7 has raised $6 million in a series A.

Propic, which has two proptech solutions for agents and property managers to respond and communicate via automated conversational or text AI, was backed by former Domain boss Antony “The Cat” Catalano and billionaire Alex Waislitz in a deal that reportedly values the business at around $22 million.

CEO and founder Jeffery Gray worked alongside The Cat for four years when he was Domain’s CEO. Nowadays Catalano runs a 160-newspaper regional media empire, ACM, which he bought with Waislitz from Nine for $115 million in 2019 following its merger with the former Fairfax newspaper business.

The Propic platform tracks every property in Australia daily and already has some of the nation’s leading real estate brands as customers.

The startup was recently chosen as one of six Asia Pacific companies to take part in the Reach proptech accelerator program run by the VC arm of the US National Association of Realtors.

Gray said the funding will accelerate a significant scale-up in the business.

“We genuinely believe our solutions will become ubiquitous, transforming the customer and agent experience here and overseas,” he said.

“Our vision is to intelligently connect people and places with the services they need in real estate, in their time and place. To do this, we use Artificial Intelligence to improve how buyers and tenants engage around property transactions.

“Our solutions also enable agents to leverage a data platform that finds appraisals and listings for them.”

Antony Catalano, a veteran of the digitisation of the real estate sector, said it was apparent that AI and big data will play a material role in real estate.

“To have world-leading solutions being developed here in Australia is fantastic to see, particularly when you look at the global application of the Propic tech platform,” he said.