Domain Group announced yesterday that it has made its third strategic acquisition in as many months as the group expands beyond real estate listings.
Domain has acquired 50 per cent of Residential Connections, which owns the market-leading Compare & Connect residential utilities comparison and connections business.
The acquisition follows the recent investments in Oneflare, an online trades and services marketplace, and Beevo, a commercial utilities connections firm, and is part of Domain Group’s strategy to expand beyond classifieds and into real estate related services.
Compare & Connect, founded in 2014, develops and operates platforms to help consumers compare and connect utility services for their existing homes or when moving.
Domain Group CEO Antony Catalano said Compare & Connect has a solid market position and is well placed to accelerate growth on the back of recent major national contract wins with LJ Hooker and PRD Nationwide.
“Compare & Connect also powers a number of major Victorian real estate brands, including Biggin & Scott and Stockdale & Leggo, as well as the energy section of the rapidly growing comparethemarket.com.au comparison site for consumers,” Mr Catalano said.
“Compare & Connect is the only independent end-to-end platform offering movers the ability to compare suppliers’ packages when they decide to connect utilities through their real estate agent,” he said.
“Connection service providers typically connect movers with one preferred supplier, and comparison platforms lack the integration with the agent network.
“Given its unique product advantages, this investment enables Domain to enter into the residential utilities connection space with a superior offering, demonstrating our continued commitment to partner with the real estate industry and establish a market-leading position,” Mr Catalano said.
Residential Connections chief executive Neil Saligrama said the partnership with Domain Group would allow the business to accelerate product and business development along with best in class consumer experience.
“Supported by Domain’s extensive agent and consumer audience and leveraging Domain’s sales force, we expect to accelerate market share growth and lead generation through integration of the Compare & Connect platform into Domain’s agent-facing systems and network of consumer-facing platforms,” Mr Saligrama said.
“This will help unlock revenue in new areas leveraging Domain’s transaction and lead generation capability and our products and relationships.”
Mr Catalano said Domain Group’s recent investments are consistent with the strategic objective of broadening Domain’s offering across the property lifecycle.
“Inarguably, Domain Group has the best suite of real estate media assets in the country, and we will continue to look at opportunities to build on that leadership position,” he said.
Domain's largest competitor, REA Group, has also been making a number of strategic acquisitions in recent months. In April the ASX-listed company acquired Flatmates.com.au, the market-leading player in share accommodation in Australia.
[Related: Domain Group makes strategic acquisition]