SA Home Loans has announced its acquisition of a 49% stake in online property start-up, PropertyFox, which has a business model of charging only 1.5% in commission or a minimum of R35,000 – whichever is higher.
PropertyFox said it will use the cash injection to accelerate growth, develop new tech, ramp up brand awareness and deepen presence across all nine South African provinces.
Its founders launched the business in April 2016 and the firm’s efficiency, transparency and customer centricity have already saved consumers more than R10-million in fees, they said.
Kevin Penwarden, CEO of SA Home Loans, said: “We had been looking for an opportunity to enter the property industry as it is vertically aligned with our industry and PropertyFox resonated strongly with us. The business model is compelling and has been proven to be successful elsewhere in the world.”
Joint founder and CEO of PropertyFox, Inglis said the business has grown rapidly from ‘two guys and a laptop’ to a business that employs 20. “The investment from SA Home Loans will allow us to ramp up growth in 2018, a critical time for the business.”
He said the deal comes after a year-long ‘courtship’. “Technology has allowed us to offer clients greater transparency, a far more efficient process and lower commissions than the traditional players,” Inglis said.
PropertyFox will continue to operate as an independent business.