PEXA Group – Property Exchange Australia – has taken a 25 percent stake in AI-as-a-service company Elula.
Founded by two former Commonwealth Bank executives, Josh Shipman (once CBA’s head of automation and robotics operations) and Sarah Russell (a general manager at the bank), Elula’s software is designed to apply AI to customer retention.
The products that attracted PEXA Group’s attention were Sticky, designed to predict which home loan customers are likely to refinance or sell their property; and Nudge, which predicts which financial institution customers are likely to take more products and services from.
PEXA says there’s also a good overlap between the two companies’ customers, with banks, credit unions, mutuals and non-bank lenders featuring strongly among Elula’s clients.
“Many of these financial institutions are existing PEXA customers, offering considerable system efficiencies for PEXA’s financial institution and banking customers, which is one of the four key pillars of the PEXA Insights’ strategy,” the company said in a statement.
It said its own data and analytics capabilities mean the investment “enables a more holistic view of critical lending and refinance consumer behaviour, further amplifying PEXA’s capabilities for financial institutions”.
Originally developed by Accenture, PEXA processed its first transaction for CBA in 2014.
It was created under an initiative led by the government-backed National Electronic Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL).
PEXA’s chief data and analytics officer Scott Butterworth said the company needs to “continue to identify opportunities that extend our offering and enhance the property ecosystem to best meet the needs of Australian consumers”.
The acquisition includes a strategic partnership agreement between the Elula and PEXA.
Elula co-founder and co-CEO Josh Shipman said: “Elula is delighted to be partnering with PEXA and this investment will allow us to accelerate our strategic growth plans by bringing new products to market.”