Australia’s Different starts operations in Sri Lanka

Different Co-Founder Ruwin Perera (Left) and Head of Growth Joel Pinkham (Right)

ECONOMYNEXT- ‘Different’, an Australian tech company with a real estate app, started its back-office operations in Sri Lanka and is planning on growing investment and hires, a top official said.

“We have now started operations in our Colombo office,” Co-Founder Ruwin Perera told reporters in Colombo early this month.

“We are also planning on tripling the size of the Sri Lankan team from where it is now,” he said.

Perera said Different has doubled down on its investment in the country through a multi-million dollar investment into its Colombo office, making senior personnel hires and moving key operational functions, including real-time customer management, customer experience, maintenance, and supplier relationships, to Sri Lanka.

Currently, 18 people work in the Colombo office, and the firm has plans to recruit up to 50 engineers next year, he said.

“We are looking at increasing our Sri Lankan cadre significantly, hence my presence here in Sri Lanka,” Perera said.

“We have a wealth of talent here who need to be harnessed and given the appropriate training and opportunities, which will enable them to hold their own in any part of the world.”

Different announced its plans to open an office in Sri Lanka in April, and has gone through a new round of funding to expand operations further.

“We recently raised 3.5 million Australian dollars in our third round of funding and we are going to put a large chunk of it in the Sri Lankan market,” Perera said.

It has raised altogether 6 million Australian dollars in 3 rounds of funding, co-led by AirTree Ventures, one of Australia’s biggest venture capital funds, alongside highly regarded Australian real estate VC fund PieLAB.

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Different automates property management services including listing and pricing, rental payments, insurance, taxes, and maintenance requests. The app is available in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and will be expanded to the rest of Australia, and at least one global city soon, Perera said.

“We are actively looking at expanding in to new overseas markets but only if we could find the right talent and we are looking at US as our next market”, Perera said.

“If you see our growth in Australia, we took 186 days to sign in our first 100 customers but now, in the last four weeks we signed in 111 customers, that’s the sense of growth we have.” (Colombo/Dec18/2019)

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