A start-up with world-first technology expects to raise $6.5 million to launch real-time bidding of live-streamed auctions from anywhere in the world.
A digital start-up with first-to-market technology, Gavl (gavl.co.nz), has announced it has secured NZ$1.96 million in its Series A funding from Harris Capital, the investment office of Flight Centre founder Geoff Harris.
Launched in December 2016, Gavl is the world leader in live-streamed auctions and the most exciting app in real estate, having already enabled 200 real estate agencies in Australia and New Zealand to broadcast 3,500 auctions to reach 2.5 million views. The app has been downloaded in 44 countries.
Impressively, just one month after launching into New Zealand, the platform has attracted interest from respected groups, partnering with Ray White and Harcourts to start streaming auctions in Auckland.
“We have many international and phone buyers at our auctions, and Gavl allows us to keep these buyers fully engaged with an auction, so they can contribute knowing exactly what is happening on the ground. It’s a fantastic solution and helps us broaden our auction audience even further, increase transparency and improve the experience for vendors and family members involved in the buying process,” says Megan Jaffe, Principal Licensee Agent & Owner of Ray White Remuera.
“The bidding analytics Gavl provides at the conclusion of each auction is extremely valuable in sharing buyer behaviour across our teams.”
Founded by AFL player-turned-businessman Joel Smith with Leith Donaldson and Michael Artup, Gavl was launched in Australia with a $327,000 bootstrap from Joel and his father-in-law. This was followed by a $2.7 million investment in June 2016 by Harris Capital, which enabled Gavl to live stream its first auction and release its iOS and Android apps.
The platform is expecting to raise its next $4.6m – of the $6.5m total raise of Series A funding kicked off by Harris Capital injecting a further $1.96m into the business – quickly. It will enable the launch of live auction bidding, which will permit property buyers to view and make bids at auction in real time from anywhere in the world, using eight of the world’s major currencies.
Joel Smith, CEO of Gavl, says, “We are currently piloting technology that allows a consumer to not only watch, but bid and ultimately buy at auction, and complete the transaction without having to be physically on site. We will be able to provide bidders with more ways to buy property and vendors a greater audience to increase their opportunity of selling. This funding will help us close the loop of buyers being able to participate in auctions via the live stream. It will completely revolutionise auctions as we know them.”
Gavl is already established as the clear market leader in auction live streaming across the globe. It was the first to market with significant growth in just a few months, and is the only such app dedicated to the real estate industry with a patent-pending technology that can broadcast live events with a one-second latency – this includes Facebook Live, which is commonly used by the industry.
Joel says, “When we tested Facebook Live for auction live streaming, we were measuring a 5-20 second latency. In an auction environment, this delay could be the difference between a property selling for $630,000 and $675,000. We spent 15 months developing the technology to live stream with a one-second latency as well as address another challenge for agents: network reliability with live streaming, and this technology is key for us in launching live auction bidding.”
Currently, the platform captures all bids made at its auctions, which – in addition to providing bidding analytics – allows Gavl to share auction results in real time.
Gavl has enabled New Zealand real estate agents to broaden their auction audience in just one month, while leading independent Auctioneer, John Bowring from Elite Auctioneers believes Gavl adds a layer of integrity and professionalism to his auction calls: “As an auctioneer, Gavl is a brilliant tool in generating exposure for properties going under the hammer by allowing vendors and buyers to watch from anywhere. But it’s not just that – from a compliance point of view, Gavl allows us to readily call on a video and bidding record of all the auctions we’ve conducted which shows complete professionalism.”