The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is throwing its support behind the property management business after its successful series B fundraising.
The $25 million raised will enable :Different to expand nationally, as it continues to build out both its team of property managers, and its technological capabilities.
That capital raise has coincided with the announcement of a strategic partnership between :Different and CBA, which will see both groups collaborate on exclusive offers and benefits, with an aim of reaching homeowners across the country.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group’s executive of retail banking services, Angus Sullivan, announced the strategic partnership in a media briefing on 21 September 2021.
According to the big four banks, the partnership is designed to extend the group’s capabilities around an end-to-end digital home buying solution.
Mr Sullivan said :Different is a “really exciting and new way of helping investors manage their investment properties”.
“:Different, in my mind, is a really powerful analogy to what we’re doing across many different dimensions. They’re revolutionising and digitising the experience, not only for investors but also for tenants,” the executive said.
“We’re obviously going to be integrating that into our investor proposition and we’re looking forward to working with Mina and Ruwin to really scale what they're doing, and create great value together.”
:Different will become accessible to the Australian bank’s 15 million customer base across various CBA channels including the CommBank app, to support property investors with guidance throughout the entire home buying journey as part of that partnership.
Weighing in on the announcement, :Different co-founder Mina Radhakrishnan said: “Our ultimate mission is to be the all-encompassing assistant to the home, and this latest raise and our partnership with CBA brings us another step closer to reaching this goal and helping even more Aussies”.
Highlighting :Different’s beginnings, Ms Radhakrishnan stated that they started :Different “because we had heard all too many horror stories of property owners and renters having a subpar experience with their property managers”.
“Little communication and transparency into the important things that can make a real difference to the overall living and ownership experience. We knew things had to change, and with people who care and powerful technology, we could create a better experience for our property owners, their properties, and the people who live in them.”
Her co-founder, Ruwin Perera, said the CBA partnership “presents a momentous opportunity for not only :Different as a company but for Aussies right around the country”.
“The new alliance will see us tap into CBA’s 15 million strong customer base to offer them a better approach to homeownership.”
Mr Perera added: “Finance and homes are inextricably linked. We are a trusted partner in the home, and with CBA at our side, we will deliver value through reimagined products and services as the basis of a home platform, designed to service the needs of homes and the people who live in them”.
The $25 million raised was led by Commonwealth Bank venture-scaling entity, x15ventures, and Antler.
“We are thrilled to have x15ventures and Antler backing us,” commented Mr Perera.
“Antler’s international presence will give us the reach to take :Different to other markets around the world. Both partners have a vision to disrupt the status quo to solve real-world problems in unique ways, which is at the very core of why we started :Different, and makes them a perfect pairing for us.”
The co-founder indicated :Different is “looking forward to what this new chapter brings for us and our team, as well as the millions of Australians who own or rent homes”.
Weighing in on :Different’s recent success, x15ventures managing director, Toby Norton-Smith, said they are “excited to welcome :Different into the x15ventures family”.
“This investment and strategic partnership continues our commitment to bring differentiated products and services to CommBank’s customers. Our ventures are now improving the digital customer experience throughout the home buying journey.”
“Working closely with exceptional founders like Mina and Ruwin and global industry heavyweights like Antler, is a privilege,” he concluded.
Antler partner Teddy Himler has also expressed support for the property management company.
He said: “In :Different, we see a world-class team, building a customer-centric platform for the home in one of the most exciting emerging tech ecosystems globally and beyond”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.