Invex founder Neil Smoli headed up the Aviate Group which he founded in 2001 and in his role saw there was a disconnection between developers and agents.
“Investment is a double sided marketplace. One side is developers, of which there are 14,000 developers in the residential space. It’s a very large and fragmented market. In that you have smaller developers that are geographically constrained, then you have developers that do 2000-3000 starts a year nationally and have their in-house sales and marketing teams. Irrespective, both developers and agents have their own problems and challenges.”
Smoli says Invex is looking at how they can best plug those pain points.
“For an agent where there is more stock than usual, it helps an agent find the most relevant product to them. They are somewhat overwhelmed. They might have good relationships with developers but can’t find the right thing.”
Invex claims they have profiled about 14,000 developers across Australia, in addition to thousands of financial planners, mortgage brokers, agents and investment property groups, to create the matchmaking website for buyers and sellers of new property. Mr Smoli says the company was started after seeing inefficiency in the marketplace. The B2B platform connects developers directly to a national industry network of advisors, extending their usual reach. Invex is a free tool for advisors while developers only pay a platform fee on the successful sale of a property.
To date, Invex says it has raised $1.2 million through various strategic investors. The funds are being used to further enhance the platform, to facilitate marketing and promotional growth, and to provide working capital for the business.
A second round of funding is also underway, with Invex looking to raise between $1.5m and $2.4m.
According to Smoli, taking away the low value tasks from agents and developers is the next step for Invex, to allow them to spend time doing things they value and enjoy.
“If you can identify with what people’s pain points are and challenges they face, and see how you can take that away from them, you take away the low value stuff and let them better enjoy what they do. We are relevant and value adding,” said Smoli
“Things are changing all the time and evolving. We must continue to evolve and innovate and create to ensure we are meeting the market and continue to add value to market moving forward. Not only developers of whatever size but agents, channel partners, accountants, financial planners, brokers and others involved in the process.”
When asked on what makes Invex unique, Mr Smoli says Invex goes deeper than other sites.
“A lot of other platforms are effectively listing sites so they are about creating awareness, but it’s a superficial layer. What we’ve painstakingly built is able to assist the agent and/or developer through the transaction path, giving everyone greater visibility and transparency”
“Words like disruption gets bandied about – there is an evolution, things are transforming, it’s those that embrace the change that remains relevant.”