SA prop-tech startup Flow expands reach into Australia

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South African prop-tech startup Flow, which enables real estate agents and developers to seamlessly advertise properties on social media, has announced it is launching in Australia following consolidated growth in its home market.

Founded in 2019 by Daniel Levy and Gil Sperling, Flow goes straight to the source of the largest social platforms in the world – Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn – to match people with property. Its API platform matches social media users with property by automating rental and seller listings, and driving pre-assessed leads straight to estate agents and landlords.

Disrupt Africa reported in August the startup was reporting impressive growth figures as it prepared to take on board further investment to supercharge its development. Part of its ambitious plans for the future is international expansion, and that has now begun with its Australian launch.

Boasting 90,000 agents and a housing market value of US$9 trillion, Flow believes Australia offers a latent opportunity. Having achieved consistent 30% MoM growth since launch and secured US$2.4m backing from CRE Venture Capital, Kalon Venture Partners and Vunani Capital during 2018 and 2019, Flow already used by 4,500 South African estate agents, which represents 10 per cent of the country’s agents. 

Nine million South African buyers and tenants have been reached via Flow about agency brands and property listings in the past year, which is 40 per cent of all Facebook and Instagram users in the country. Flow’s proprietary data shows a 10x increase in the use of social media to sell property over the last 12 months, and the company is targeting this trend while building a global solution for a global opportunity within a property industry that is relatively undisrupted to date.

“Surprisingly for such a progressive economy, Australia’s real estate industry suffers from similar dynamics and transformations that are happening to real estate markets like South Africa,” said Sperling.

“By rolling out Flow in Australia we’re grabbing the collar of an industry dragging its heels to propel it into the 21st century. Such a high percentage of people have one form of social media or another, so real estate agents and property developers really can’t afford to miss out on reaching that audience directly in an efficient way.” 

Levy said Flow had put in a “huge amount” of research before committing to the expansion, and seen positive results during a testing period. 

“Our tech was always designed for savvy agents and developers who are experts in their chosen areas, no matter whether that’s in Africa or elsewhere around the world. We’re launching in Australia with a distribution partner and actively looking at other markets where we can follow suit with a similar approach,” he said.

As the company begins to increase its global footprint, integrations with Australian real estate CRMs AgentBox and Box+Dice will provide Flow access to 6,300 Australian estate agent offices, along with a partnership with real estate management prop-tech MRI Software.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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