Geoff Harris has invested a further $1.8 million in online live auction app Gavl

Geoff Harris has invested a further $1.8 million in online live auction app Gavl
Geoff Harris has invested a further $1.8 million in online live auction app Gavl

Financial Review Rich List member Geoff Harris has invested a further $1.8 million in online live auction app Gavl, which is developing technology it believes will lead to real-time bidding at auctions.

Australian-owned, Gavl has the fastest live streaming technology in the world.

Harris first invested in Gavl late last year, run by former Hawthorn AFL footballer Joel Smith. The pair met when Harris was a Hawthorn director between 2004 and 2013.

Gavl secured a $2.5 million investment in June 2016 from Harris Capital, which enabled Gavl to live stream its first auction and release its Apple iOS and Android apps.

The current Gavl app allows property buyers and browsers to search a map, select a property that is using the technology and then view its auction either live or later. 

At the auction itself, a tripod is set up with a smartphone to relay the proceedings via the app online.

Gavl is now developing technology that it claims will eventually add digital contract signing, deposit transfer facilitation between buyer and seller via the agent and 360-degree camera and Artificial Intelligence integration.

"We are currently piloting technology that allows a consumer to not only watch, but bid and ultimately buy at auction, and complete the transaction without having to be physically on site," Mr Smith told The Australian Financial Review.

He hopes to have the technology ready next year.

It has the only app dedicated to the real estate industry with a patent-pending technology that can broadcast live events with a one-second latency – this includes Facebook Live, which is commonly used by the industry. 

Joel says when they first tested Facebook Live for auction live streaming, "we were measuring a 5-20 second latency."

"In an auction environment, this delay could be the difference between a property selling for $950,000 and $1.1 million.

"We spent 15 months developing the technology to live stream with a one-second latency as well as address another challenge for agents: network reliability with live streaming, and this technology is key for us in launching live auction bidding.” 

Gavl claims that its technology has now been used by 200 Australian real estate agencies to broadcast 3500 auctions.

The $1.8 million is being invested via the Harris Capital investment office, managed by Mr Harris's son, entrepreneur and philanthropist Brad Harris. 

Mr Harris is still a major shareholder in Flight Centre.

Joel Smith founded Gavl with Leith Donaldson and Michael Artup, launched with a $300,000 bootstrap from Joel and his father-in-law.


Property Auctions Technolgoy

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