Airtasker co-founder Jonathan Lui has raised $1.65 million in seed capital for his second venture, the “LinkedIn for property” app Soho.
[Related: Solo with Soho: Jonathan Lui on following up Airtasker with a ‘LinkedIn for property’ app and Jonathan Lui shares what he has learnt from establishing his new startup SOHO overseas]
The seed round, which is still underway, brings the prop-tech startup’s total funding to $2.65 million. The round has been led by BridgeLane Group – the investment firm run by Tank Stream Ventures director and founding member Markus Kahlbetzer. Additional contributions have been made by high-net-worth investors from across Australia and Singapore, where Lui is now based.
According to Lui, the raise was brought forward due to “significant interest” from investors arising from the “faster-than-expected” uptake of Soho’s property discovery and management app.
Since launching in Australia and Singapore in September 2017, the app has featured listings from more than 5000 properties with an estimated combined value of $3.5 billion. In addition, Soho has signed up major real estate agencies including Ray White, McGrath, Harcourts, ERA, Propnex and Huttons as clients,
Lui revealed the seed funding would be used to double the size of Soho’s software development team, with a view to accelerating the startup’s traction in the property market.
“We know that time in market and building trust within the industry is still a key factor for the business, so we’re buckling in for the long haul,” he told Dynamic Business.
“Having investors support us at this early stage is a great show of belief in our vision of how the property industry will evolve over the next 5-10 years, as there is so much room to grow. It’s especially helpful that our investors also have significant property investment portfolios, who can provide insights and create opportunities for Soho within the industry itself.”
Asked about his long-term ambitions for Soho, Lui replied: “We’ve been global from the beginning, which is why we launched in Australia and Singapore. Five years from now, Soho will not only look and feel more like a LinkedIn network for the property industry, it will also be the go-to destination for property discovery and content.”