:Different raises $25M, aims to scale-up operations including Sri Lanka

Australian property management company, :Different, with offices in Colombo, Sydney and Melbourne has recently raised $25 million in a Series B round to expand its presence nationally, build its diverse team of property managers, and scale-up its breakthrough technology platform including its engineering center here in Sri Lanka, with a view to reimagine the home ownership experience.

:Different was founded in 2017 by ex-Silicon Valley executives, Mina Radhakrishnan and Ruwin Perera, setting on a journey to make a real difference for property owners, their properties and those who live in them. And it does this through three key service elements; the :Different Owner App, team of experts, and its Property Partners.

In just less than four years, the company has exhibited tremendous growth with numbers in terms of revenue and team almost doubling last year. ‘We owe much of our momentum to the talented people and customer-centric technology that come together in creating highly impactful experiences,’ said Radhakrishnan.

The raise was led by x15ventures, the technology venture-scaling entity of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and global early-stage venture capital firm Antler, making it one of the largest VC-backed series B for a company where its main engineering center is in Sri Lanka. This incredible milestone also comes after it secured and raised funding of $7 million in a Series A round of funding backed by AirTree Ventures mid-last year amidst the global pandemic. Perera added that the company is only growing stronger and more resilient, with ambitious plans to take it to greater heights.

:Different is truly a Silicon Valley start-up with its founders being former senior members of Google’s Global Strategy Team and Uber’s Global Product Team. The company’s CTO Shishir Das is formerly from ThoughtWorks, and VP of Engineering Hasitha Liyanage from Sysco LABS.

With Sri Lanka capturing global attention as one of the most-sought after destinations for talents and skills in producing top-notch technology solutions, :Different instinctively turned to Sri Lanka within just two years of its inception. The company is said to double its stake in the country and expand its team and capabilities in the coming months.

The company is actively expanding its team of engineers and programmers in Sri Lanka, with plans to set the bar for excellence in engineering by sharing continuous knowledge and best practices across the industry. Liyanage said ‘We are looking for the cream of the cream who possess an ideal combination of great engineering skills, ability to think critically and communicate effectively, with desirable levels of emotional intelligence that gives one to be self-confident and open-minded.

Since the beginning of this year, :Different began offering all its permanent employees, across its offices including Colombo, equity in the firm and truly meant that every individual is part of one family, striving to grow together and pursue shared aspirations and goal of building a world-class technology company.

:Different is currently the fastest growing property tech startup in Australia with the vision to build the ‘digital assistant for your home’. The company is expanding its team of 100 employees including the engineering center in Sri Lanka, whilst helping thousands of owners, tenants and properties through its cutting edge solutions that have some of the best-in-class engineering practices and agile software development process.

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