South Africa’s proptech Flow is eyeing expansion to larger markets abroad to tap into the growing property industry. The bid comes after the venture recently raised funds from Kalon Venture Partners and CRE Venture Capital to support its expansion within South Africa and other markets abroad.
Flow is currently targeting Australia and Israel as part of its plan to connect both sides of the property ecosystem. The company also seeks to deepen its capabilities and evolve into a critical piece of the property industry’s infrastructure.
From the onset, Flow has been keen on connecting people with property essentially allowing real estate agents and property developers to fully automate their advertising efforts and effortlessly create listing ads on social media platforms.
Gil Sperling and Daniel Levy, Co-founders and Co-CEOs of Flow, were previously part of the founding team at Popimedia, one of Africa’s biggest ad-tech and performance marketing companies. Popimedia were the largest buyers of Facebook media inventory in Africa, representing some of the world’s biggest brands. When the company was acquired by global communications group Publicis, the duo decided to venture in the property industry, they had gained experience in business and technology at Popimedia which they wanted to utilise to change the way people find places to live and work.
According to Gil Sperling ,the property industry is the largest sector in the world. It relates to where people live and work and is such a pivotal part of our lives with so much value for companies to unlock in an extremely impactful way. On top of that, it’s calling out for innovation, particularly across Africa, because the industry is in major need of transformation and so they wanted to dedicate their experience in the advertising and technology space to solve some very real problems holding back the sector’s growth and efficiency.
From the estate agent’s perspective, Flow aims to be a tool embedded in their every-day, something an agent relies on for all their marketing and prospecting, and a platform to deliver any home-buying or letting service that their buyer or tenant requires.
On the other side of the transaction, for a prospective buyer or tenant, when they start their search for a new house or office on social media, Flow seeks to offer everything required along the way from mortgage origination to deposit loan solutions, insurance and furniture purchase. Flow intends to be that central piece of the property puzzle
The company product provides an API that connects their websites and internal databases with social media platforms and is designed to feed back metrics and enquiries straight to their mobile phones. Clients place their marketing media budgets through Flow.
The product offers a similar solution for property developers by helping them advertise and therefore presell units within large developments.
Currently 4,000 real estate agents in South Africa use Flow to generate leads through social media for their property and rental listings. That’s the equivalent of 10 percent of the country’s real estate agents. The company is enabling businesses within the property sector to build their brands at incredible scale.
Approximately 9 million South African buyers and tenants have been reached via Flow about agency brands and property listings in the past year – that’s the equivalent of about 40 percent of all Facebook and Instagram users in the country and just demonstrates the size of audience the platform has been able to connect with.
Gil Sperling Co-founder and Co-CEO of Flow in an interview with Techmoran said, “We launched Flow to change the way that people find places to live and work. We’ve built a platform that connects people with property, essentially allowing real estate agents and property developers to fully automate their advertising efforts and effortlessly create listing ads on social media, notably Facebook but also Instagram and LinkedIn. Until now, fully fledged advertising on social media wasn’t really a possibility for most property agents and developers due to the sheer amount of time, skills and resources it requires, so we were driven to bring the industry into the 21st century and design tools that could bridge that gap between an archaic sector and the hyper-connected world that we’re all used to operating in today. ”