ANZ Bank has snapped up an Australian data science startup whose algorithm is said to predict property prices to within five percent of their selling value.
The bank said today that REALas would continue to operate independently albeit as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the bank.
No figure for the buyout was disclosed.
REALas CEO Josh Rowe said that becoming part of ANZ would afford the company more resources to fend off better-financed rivals.
“The problem we were targeting was that customers didn’t understand what residential properties would really sell for,” Rowe said in a video published by ANZ’s BlueNotes blog.
“We realised that information wasn’t being provided by anyone else in a reliable fashion.
“We also realised quite early on that others went to replicate us. The challenge was they just happened to be larger than us” and were backed by bigger budgets, Rowe said.
REALas said on its website that its primary tool is a “proprietary algorithm developed with RMIT University, property buyers and real estate experts”.
It taps both historic and crowdsourced data, although no further details were provided.
ANZ’s customer experience and digital channels managing director Peter Dalton said the tool would continue to operate as an “online resource to help navigate the Australian property market”.
“[We’re also] looking at how we might incorporate some of their features into ANZ’s products and services in the future,” Dalton said.