Different Technologies Pty Ltd, a technology startup founded in 2017, has entered voluntary administration with KPMG, according to an announcement made on Thursday. The company, established by Mina Radhakrishnan and Ruwin Perera, expat entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley with impressive backgrounds at companies like Uber, Google, and SoftBank, specializes in digitizing property management tasks for owners, investors, and renters, thereby streamlining paperwork and administrative processes.
During its launch, Different Technologies secured $1 million in seed funding from prominent investors such as AirTree Ventures, Foundation Capital from Silicon Valley, and real estate agent Tim Foote. In 2021, the startup received an undisclosed investment from CBA’s x15 Ventures, which led to its inclusion in the CommBank app, aimed at assisting property investors. Despite entering voluntary administration, Different Technologies continues to operate with thousands of users and properties on its platform.
In a recent internal message to employees, Radhakrishnan expressed the team’s efforts to secure funding for the business but admitted that they were unable to obtain enough capital to sustain current operations in the long term. Consequently, the board made the decision to appoint KPMG as voluntary administrators. Radhakrishnan acknowledged the challenging capital market conditions for scale-ups at their stage of growth and expressed the company’s commitment to working closely with KPMG to ensure a positive impact and the best possible outcome for the platform they have built.
As part of the transition process, Different Technologies has temporarily halted the growth and integration of its Different for Agencies product, focusing instead on facilitating a smooth transfer of management responsibilities over time. Although this outcome was not what the company had envisioned, Radhakrishnan and Perera expressed their immense gratitude to the employees for their dedication and contributions throughout the journey.
In addition to her role at Different Technologies, Radhakrishnan serves as a board member of the Tech Council of Australia. A spokesperson for KPMG stated that they have initiated an urgent assessment of the business and aim to proceed with an orderly sale of Different Technologies’ assets and intellectual property as soon as possible.
This recent lack of ongoing capital for future growth bears similarities to another prominent investment by AirTree Ventures. Milkrun, a grocery delivery service, faced a similar fate and ceased operations in early April, shortly after reducing its staff by 20%. The company’s founder, Dany Milham, had anticipated that the staff reduction would provide sufficient runway for the 19-month-old business for the next 12 months. However, Woolworths later acquired and revived the brand in late May for an estimated $10 million, following its closure. Milkrun had previously raised over $80 million in venture capital funding.
Another venture supported by AirTree Ventures, online furniture retailer Brosa, also faced financial challenges and entered voluntary administration in late 2022. Brosa had initially secured $2 million in funding from AirTree Ventures in 2015, followed by an additional $5 million in a Series B round in 2017, with support from AirTree, BMY Group, and Bailador. The company’s assets were ultimately acquired by ASX-listed online retailer Kogan.com for $1.5 million, resulting in customers and investors incurring losses totaling $5 million.