Australian Anthill is reporting that Australian based real estate start-up, OpenAgent, has closed a AUD 1 million funding round with prominent investors including Pete Flint, the co-founder of US online real estate behemoth Trulia.
OpenAgent was founded in 2012 as an agent review platform. This latest capital raising brings the total funding of OpenAgent to AUD 1.4 million, after co-founders Marta Higuera and Zoe Pointon raised an initial round of AUD 400,000.
Other notable investors who have joined Flint in investing in OpenAgent include co-founder of One Big Switch, Paul Hunyor, and Ellerston Capital Advisory Board member Anthony Klok, whose previous investments include Temando and Deals Direct.
OpenAgent helps Australian home owners sell their property by providing rankings of all real estate agents based on past sales and customer reviews and connecting them with the best agent in their area and for their property. This is similar to the US based Homethinking.com.
According to Australian Anthill, OpenAgent co-founder Zoe Pointon said securing the confidence of such high profile investors was almost as exciting as securing the actual funds.
“Having Pete Flint come on board as an investor and advisor is just huge,” she remarked.
“Pete knows this space better than just about anyone, having built Trulia – one of the world’s biggest online real estate businesses – from the ground up.”
“Pete loves what we’re doing, and clearly thinks OpenAgent has a bright future. You can’t get a better vote of confidence than that.”
“After closing the initial round last year, we put all our energy into proving the model. We are now focused on scaling the business up,” Pointon revealed.
In the interview with Australian Anthill, Zoe Pointon also discussed how OpenAgent came to life?
“The idea for OpenAgent was motivated by my own experiences dealing with real estate agents of such varied quality. After a few conversations with friends and colleagues, it became clear that I wasn’t the only one,” Pointon shared with Anthill.
“Some agents had poor communication, didn’t turn up on time to open homes and were negotiating against their vendors,” she added, “On the other hand; some agents were extremely professional and committed to providing the best service possible.”
“The problem was not being able to tell the difference before deciding to work with them.”
Pointon further pointed out that given the fact that the sale of a property is the largest transaction most people will ever make, it seemed like there should be a way for people to find out quality performance information about the agent they were hiring and that all this information should be available in one place.
“We both have a strategy consulting background so we worked part time to fund the business in its initial stages – we were working from my kitchen table,” she further revealed, “Once we were confident that we had a profitable model, we held a seed funding round and raised AU$400,000.”