Domain to sell MyDesktop for $14m

Domain to sell MyDesktop for $14m

Real estate listings company Domain (ASX: DHG) will offload a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that has been in its stable for more than a decade, as part of a plan to simplify operations in line with agent needs.

Domain, which is majority owned by Nine Entertainment (ASX: NEC), has entered into an agreement to sell MyDesktop to Real Estate CRM Pty Ltd for $14 million with 50 per cent of the total consideration depending on certain conditions being met in 2021. 

The initial transaction is set to be completed this month. 

MyDesktop was formally brought into Domain's portfolio in 2007 after its creator Commerce Australia entered an equity partnership with the listings website, and has been supplemented by a range of tools over the years including Pricefinder and Homepass.

"Over the past decade, MyDesktop has played an integral role in building partnerships with agents and has helped Domain reach its goal of effective listing parity," says Domain chief executive officer and managing director Jason Pellegrino.

"As part of our strategy, we undertook a comprehensive review over a 12 month period and concluded that while MyDesktop is certainly a valuable product and has a bright future, Domain doesn't need to own a CRM to support our agent partners with the core needs we are best placed to meet.

"In our next phase of growth, we will partner with all agents and support the way they like to work - no matter which CRM they are using.

After the acquisition is made, Real Estate CRM expects to also acquire Vault Group Pty Ltd and be bought itself by Real Estate Investar Group (ASX: REV). 

Vault was founded in 2017 by the original founders of MyDesktop, and includes the ClientVault CRM system, a suite of software tools covering sales CRM, property management and commercial property solutions.

REV explains Vault will be merged to provide MyDesktop customers with a seamless transition to a next generation CRM platform, with access to in-built property management and commercial real estate functionality.

REV expects the combination of the two platform will transform the group into a highly profitable prop-tech company.

"We are excited bringing together Australia and New Zealand's largest CRM system with the next generation of software to provide all real estate agents with a long term, market leading range of residential and commercial sales and property management software," says REV executive director Joe Hanna.

"Scott Wulf and his team, the founders of the Vault Group, have intimate knowledge of the MyDesktop systems and will be responsible for the merger of the two companies.

REV chairman Simon Baker says the leadership team has explored numerous acquisition opportunities over the past 12 months.

"The purchase of Real Estate CRM, and thus MyDesktop and Vault, is a transformational moment for the REV Group and establishes it as a serious and profitable PropTech player in the Australian market," says Baker.

"Real Estate Investar is now well positioned to explore additional acquisition and investment opportunities."

Domain has also emphasised its commitment to working with REV to ensure the continuity of service for both parties' customers.

"On our journey from a listings portal to a customer-centric property marketplace, we are focused on increasing efficiency for agents through Homepass, Pricefinder and our suite of Real Time Agent products," says Pellegrino.

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