Aviva invests $2.5m in leading Canadian real estate marketplace & brokerage, Casalova
After Aviva Pitch Day presentation, Canadian real estate marketplace, Casalova poised for next level of growth
April 5, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – Casalova and Aviva Canada are pleased to announce an equity partnership that will aid in the growth of Casalova’s unique real estate marketplace offering. The investment is being made by Aviva Ventures, Aviva plc’s venture capital arm, who have committed to investing $170 million (CDN) globally over the next five years in start-up businesses that will continue to disrupt and transform the insurance industry.
“A digital first strategy – which is an Aviva mandate globally – means more than a ‘state of the art’ website,” said Ben Isotta-Riches, Chief Information Officer at Aviva Canada. “A true digital focus means looking beyond our industry and partnering with start-ups offering new and creative experiences that add value for our customers and theirs.”
Casalova is an online end-to-end real estate marketplace streamlining the buying and renting process, allowing users to start their home search, schedule viewings, make offers online, and process payments directly through the platform. Launched in May 2015, Casalova now operates in 140 cities with over 120,000 exclusive and on-market listings across Canada, making it the leading real estate marketplace in the country.
The investment is a first outside of the UK and the first in Canada from Aviva Ventures, who kicked off their search for high-potential Canadian digital start-ups with Aviva Pitch Day last October. With a keen interest in disrupting the way customer needs are addressed, Aviva heard from a short-listed group of 10 start-ups vying for their share in a potential $10 million (CDN) investment.
“Our first investment in the Canadian marketplace is monumental for us,” commented Ben Luckett, Managing Director, Aviva Ventures. “We’re excited to be working with Casalova and to learn from each other to help grow, enhance and continue to disrupt the marketplace. We believe Casalova is making a huge difference in the real estate market at a time where the industry desperately needs it.”
Casalova recently announced that users now have the option to purchase pre-construction homes online, a first-in-Canada development. They are using this opportunity to level the playing field for buyers, allowing only one unit to be purchased at a time and giving all buyers equal access.
“We are very excited to be working with Aviva Ventures,” said Ray Taaeb, CEO and cofounder of Casalova. “Their strategic investment will help us expand and scale our technology to reach millions of Canadians looking to buy, sell, or rent their homes, while keeping them protected along the way. This is a major step forward for the real estate industry to provide Canadians with innovative solutions to archaic problems.”
Aviva Ventures provides early stage investment to back entrepreneurs with high-growth businesses and, over time, expects to have a portfolio of small investments in a number of companies that have significant potential. Aviva Ventures is part of Aviva’s digital strategy and, through the investments made, will assist Aviva in identifying new opportunities, the development of innovative business models and new digital insurance services and products, which make insurance simpler for customers.
Founded in November, 2014, Casalova is a full-service, end-to-end real estate marketplace and licensed brokerage operating in 140 Canadian cities with over 120,000 exclusive and on-market listings. For more information visit Casalova’s website at www.casalova.com.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada Inc. is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for their customers and communities.
Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $7.5 million to over 250 charities and community groups nationwide. Aviva Canada, bringing over 300 years of good thinking and insurance solutions to Canadians from coast-to-coast. For more information visit avivacanada.com, the company’s blog or Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
About Aviva Ventures
Aviva Ventures is Aviva’s corporate venture arm and is wholly-owned by Aviva plc. It forms part of Aviva’s wider innovation strategy and was launched in December 2015. Currently operating out of Aviva’s digital garage in London, England, Aviva Ventures is looking to make investments across the markets where Aviva operates. The fund aims to invest £100 million over the next five years into startup businesses that will disrupt, lead and transform the insurance industry.
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