Hipages-backed Bricks + Agent buys Inspection Manager for $8m

Hipages-backed Bricks + Agent buys Inspection Manager for $8m

Bricks + Agent co-founder Rafael Niesten (left) with Inspection Manager co-founder Carrie Vernon (right), one of Australia's prop-tech pioneers. 

The largest property maintenance platform in Australia and New Zealand has bolstered its clout with the acquisition of fellow Sydney-based company Inspection Manager for $8 million, expanding its capabilities and coverage nationwide to 1.2 million properties, not to mention extra data to drive its AI-powered developments.

The deal is the second acquisition so far this year for Bricks + Agent, which received investment from trades booking group Hipages (ASX: HPG) in 2021 and acquired rival Maintenance Manager this January through a buyout that also brought a joint venture owned by RACV and IAG Insurance (ASX: IAG) onto the share register.

An ability to handle inspections will be another string in Bricks + Agent's bow for a platform that already helps property managers with invoicing and maintenance, with enterprise technology that can also be integrated into existing property management systems.

Bricks + Agent claims the deal means that one in every two investment properties managed by property managers is serviced using one of its platforms, with a combined portfolio boasting 2,500 agencies, 5.1 million owners and tenants, 60,000 trades, 18,000 property managers and more than 13 million completed inspections.

Inspection Manager co-founder Carrie Vernon will continue to run the operations of the business with an additional and complementary product suite.

"When we started 13 years ago our goal was and continues to be to create great tools for property managers that help drive efficiency in their day," Vernon says.

"Finding another team in Bricks + Agent that aligns with that goal is brilliant as we can push harder and faster on helping PM’s win back more of their time.

"There is a lot of consolidation underway currently in Proptech and it made logical sense to combine forces and allow our vision to be taken to the next level."

Vernon's Inspection Manager is one of the oldest prop-tech companies in Australia after its journey began more than 13 years ago in Sydney, and services a sizeable user base of property managers dealing with routine, entry and exit inspections across the region.

Bricks + Agent co-founder Rafael Niesten says both platforms are a natural fit for one another and share the ambition to deliver smoother maintenance, inspections and invoice-related transactions.

"Our growth aspirations are aligned. We are also both actively targeting the $21 billion property management total addressable market. The acquisition creates a singular focus on this goal," Niesten says.

"I first discovered Inspection Manager when looking for partners that aligned in a different vertical to maintenance. Inspections and maintenance work hand-in-hand; we have been working as a partner with Inspection Manager for well over 12 months and were impressed with their product and team."

He said discussions for a transaction began after the acquisition of Maintenance Manager.

"We couldn’t be happier with this result, which will see significant growth in both revenue and result in profitability in what is an uncertain time in the market," Niesten adds.

The group describes itself as a "data powerhouse" in property technology - a status that is lifted higher by the Inspection Manager acquisition, enabling Bricks + Agent to accelerate growth plans and roll out its unique technology to more property managers, social housing providers, homeowners and tenants.

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