Bangkok-headquartered DIAKRIT, a successful Swedish start-up and the largest employers of Swedes in Thailand, has announced a change in ownership where the original founders are buying the majority shares from News Corp Australia.
This move happens only two years after the media giant News Corp invested and became Diakrit’s majority owner. The property marketing solutions developer and provider will now be majority-owned by its three original founders Fredrik Bergman (CEO), Dick Karlsson (Managing Director, Residential) and Martin Fritze (CTO), as well as Pontus Lindholm (Director, Sales Nordic), who will all continue to run the company together.
A new smaller group of international investors will also back the company, all of whom have vast experience and specialised skills in technology, international expansion and business development.
“News Corp wants to focus more on News and Diakrit likes to continue developing the digital real estate arena,” CEO Fredrik Bergman explains the sudden move to ScandAsia.
He claims that the introduction of their real estate services on News Corp’s market have gone well.
“We have had great development in Australia and in New Zealand under the News Corp flag. We are now ready to stand on our own feet on those markets.”
As recent as in May, almost two years after entering the Australian market, Diakrit officially launched in New Zealand with Auckland’s largest real estate agency.
One of the new investors is also Australia-based: Rickard Gardell, who is originally from Sweden but has a long history in the Australian finance sector and is the founder of the largest venture capital firm in Australia (Pacific Equity Partners).
He has expressed his excitement to be a part of their next chapter. “I obviously wanted to take part in the opportunity to join the journey of a dominant Swedish company taking their business global. It’s been very exciting to follow Diakrit, especially in Australia where the demand for their products has been very high, and where they’ve succeeded in positioning themselves as a leading player in only two years’ time,” states Rickard.
Another of the new investors is Niclas Kjellgren, angel investor with background from KTH and a portfolio of real estate, AR/VR and MedTech.
“In Diakrit I am seeing a unique opportunity since the company’s long history, leading market position, technique focus and high production volumes have enabled collecting a large amount of data telemetry regarding image processing, 3D visualisations, photos, retouch processes etc. This gives the best opportunities when it comes to successfully applying machine learning, since the key to success is to have access to as much historic data as possible,” concludes Niclas.
This high-end digital visualization solutions provider will look to utilise the strategic support and business development knowledge of the new Investors and Directors who have vast experience in globalisation across the tech, real estate and finance industries to continue to meet the needs of the ever-changing and growing real estate industry.
”We are really proud and happy over the interest shown in Sweden and internationally both from investors and within strategic competence. We view this as an excellent opportunity for the company to return to our independent, entrepreneurial roots after several years of majority ownership by banks, Private Equity/Venture Capital, and News Corp.,” says Fredrik Bergman.
“We were searching more for entrepreneurial investors and succeeded well with that,” he clarifies.
With strong profitability and growth capacity they are ready for further internationalisation of the company but also see the need for even more effective and smart production. The co-founders and the CEO therefore intend to stake even further at AI development and view Sweden as being in the forefront as market for this.
“Sweden is a leader within AI and that is where we can see ourselves having the fastest development. We have already tested implementing AI components in part of our image processing and thereby manage to invested significantly in production efficiency – something which will heavily impact our total production of over 200,000 images monthly,” says Fredrik.
They are looking forward to applying even greater understanding, coupled with the latest technology from overseas to the international real estate market to create better buying and selling experiences.
“We see Sweden as the benchmark for real estate across the world with their streamlined working processes and advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and other leading software. We know other markets will greatly benefit from this and are ready for what the next level of home buying and selling looks like.” says Dick Karlsson.
“From a global perspective we see Sweden as a very innovative country and risk averse. We have during over 16 years worked with some of our Swedish customers, with everything from visual imaging to strategic consultation and business development. We are seeing an opportunity to take this cooperation to the next level via implementation of AI components also in their processes. The increased quality as a result will be noticeable both for clients and customers,” says Fredrik.
While the new ownership structure means that the holding company will move from Hong Kong to Sweden the main operations will continue be in Bangkok.