A Queensland-based real estate startup that raised $1.5 million in funding last July has entered liquidation, after facing financial troubles when its shareholders disagreed over the direction of the business.
Administrators from Worrells Insolvency were appointed to Revalu8 Limited on February 13 and after a second meeting of creditors on March 10, a decision was made on March 20 to place the company in liquidation.
Worrells Partner Jason Bettles told SmartCompany this morning that funds for the business “dried up” after a disagreement between shareholders.
“What led to the company’s financial position is really just a disagreement between shareholders as to the direction the company should take. The shareholders were funding the company’s working capital,” Bettles says.
“We’re still trying to figure out the exact investment [amount], but several million dollars was injected into the company. It got to a certain point and then disagreements were started … the funding dried up.”
In July 2016 Revalu8 founder Chris Bilborough told StartupSmart the business had raised $1.5 million in seed funding from private investors to launch the Revalu8 platform.
The startup said its goal was to give power back to real estate investors and buyers by providing a platform through which they could trade property, either directly or through an agent, as well as providing property comparison tools for buyers. The business hoped to fight the lack of transparency and high real estate commissions that exist in the traditional real estate industry.
“I’m excited about it being able to get investors a better deal,” Bilborough said in July.
“Not only will users receive instant access to unbiased, comparative information about property based on real figures, but Revalu8 also gives buyers a fair share of fees that would otherwise go towards advertising costs and agent commissions,” he said.
The liquidators say the business entered a beta phase in 2016, and while it did get onto the market in that form, its platform was unable to be upgraded beyond the beta stage.
Bettles says the company owes close to $900,000 to creditors, including one software development company that is owed $486,000.
According to CRN, a dispute between the company’s directors and another company, Agile Software Services, led to the developer removing the company’s access to the platform’s programming code. Business Insider reports the Australian Taxation Office is also owed $11,000.
“The director has not put up a proposal to save the company, and our role as liquidators is to realise the assets,” says Bettles.
“The main asset is the source code, albeit not it its final form. That seems to be the only asset of the company.”
Bettles says there is “no suggestion that anyone has done anything wrong” in this case, although it is unfortunate that creditors have been left being owed money due to the situation.
Revalu8’s Twitter and Instagram feeds have been inactive since August 2016, with the most recent posts uploaded more than 30 weeks ago.
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SmartCompany attempted to contact Chris Bilborough through the ReValu8 website but did not receive a response prior to publication. SmartCompany has attempted to contact Agile Software Services.