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REA buys Flatmates.com.au for $25m and signals an international expansion

FlatmatesProperty website REA Group bought Australia’s largest share accommodation website Flatmates.com.au for $25m.

The move sees REA, which operates Australia’s largest property portal Realestate.com.au, buy 100% of the Australian business and agree to an earn-out with its founders based on an international expansion.

REO Group CEO Tracey Fellows said in a statement: “We know there is enormous growth in the sharing economy. The share accommodation segments in the Australian property market with traffic across the sector growing at over 50 year-on-year. 

“This acquisition allows us to play a more active role in the helping consumers, regardless of what phase of the property lifecycle they are in, to find a home. Growth in the segment includes renters looking for flatmates, homeowners seeking to rent out a spare room, property investors hoping to maximise on their outlay; it includes people at almost every phase in the property cycle.

The flatmates business was co-founded back in 1990 by Thomas Clement and Andrew Maloney and now has more than 2.6m visits a month with almost 9m flatmate searches each month.

The pair said in a joint statement: “The acquisition by REA is an exciting and natural progression for Flatmates. Integration with traditional property sectors will not only enable us to provide an enhanced experience to our current audience but also to renters, homeowners and property investors.”

Clement will remain on as CEO.

Nic Christensen 

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