OpenAgent, a startup that helps home sellers find and compare real estate agents, has raised $12 million led by the Westpac-backed venture capital firm Reinventure, Australia's Financial Review (AFR) newspaper reports.
Also participating in the oversubscribed round were Sydney fund Breakthrough Labs and Singapore-based venture capital firm Qualgro.
The AFR report says the $12 million will mostly go towards developing new tools, particularly one that will help homeowners value and sell their property.in 2013,
Founders Zoe Pointon and Marta Higuera, both formerly McKinsey & Company analysts claim OpenAgent has doubled in size every year since launch in 2013, and in the past 12 months they say the platform has helped 10,000 people choose real estate agents.
Having raised $6 million from South Africa-based Hollard Investments in June last year, the AFR reports the the latest capital raise brings its total to $20 million.
Higuera tells the AFR she and Pointon "figured out that comparing agents was very important, but there are a lot more things that come into the process that technology can help with still".
"One of the hardest things was deciding what to do with the little money we had. There's a lot of things we haven't been able to put into practice because we didn't have the resources."
The company is hoping to double its revenue again in the next 12 months and Pointon tells the AFR the money raised now will last the firm for a few years, unless a new growth opportunity emerges.
OpenAgent was the second Australian investment made by Qualgro which works across the Asia Pacific, and the first by Reinventure's new $50 million Fund 2.
Australia's Startup Daily site adds the investment from Reinventure is particularly interesting, given it is backed by Westpac, which is increasingly looking to work with startups.
This report says Reinventure co-founders Simon Cant and Danny Gilligan say the second fund will continue to take a long term view of where financial services and 'adjacent industries' are going, looking to industries where financial services are embedded within the product such as health, real estate, retail, services, and agriculture.
"As such, the potential synergies between OpenAgent and the bank are clear given real estate leads into mortgages and other financial services."
But the report adds though Higuera and Pointon say they would obviously be open to exploring any synergies, they also say that the investment is purely a funding move.
Although Qualgro has expertise across Asia, both the AFR and Startup Daily say Pointon and Higuera have too much work to do in Australia to think of looking overseas at the current time.