The Commonwealth Bank’s venture-scaling arm, x15ventures, has added a new proptech startup to its investment portfolio, taking a stake in the Antler-backed property management company :Different.
Co-founded in 2017 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Mina Radhakrishnan and her husband Ruwin Perera, whose CVs include Google, Uber and other tech giants, :Different digitises a large slab of property management tasks involving paperwork and admin for owners, investors and renters. For example, the app can be used to report, quote and manage maintenance requests.
The startup previously raised $1 million in seed funding in 2017 from the likes of AirTree Ventures, Silicon Valley’s Foundation Capital, and real estate agent Tim Foote.
x15ventures managing director Toby Norton-Smith will join the :Different board with the VC scaling firm taking a minor stake in the business. The size of the investment was not disclosed.
“Combined with our rapidly growing conveyancing platform Home-in and the recent announcement of Unloan, the property sector is clearly a space where we feel we can develop the next generation of high quality digital services for home buyers, property investors and property managers,” he said.
CBA is planning to roll out :Different to customers through the CommBank app, to support property investors with guidance throughout the entire home buying and owning journey alongside the bank’s Home Buying Hub and Home-In, a digital home loan conveyancing platform.
“Using :Different’s platform to connect our retail and small business customers means we will be able to provide significant value to tenants and investors alike. Co-founders of :Different, Mina Radhakrishnan and Ruwin Perera, are industry disruptors and we’re excited to help them accelerate their vision,” Norton-Smith said.
CBA retail banking group exec Angus Sullivan said partnering with the startup expands what the bank can deliver to its investor home loan customers.
“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,” he 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”.
Radhakrishnan said they started :Different to look after the homes and the people who live in them.
“Our mission is to be the all-encompassing assistant to the home, and partnering with CBA brings us one step closer to achieving this,” she said.
“We are both aligned on the importance of providing great experiences and value to our customers, and this partnership means together, we’ll help millions of Australians access an end-to-end digital home buying solution.”