Electronic property settlement platform, Property Exchange Australia or PEXA, is on track for a $1 billion public listing, despite a hacking incident that cost a user $250,000 on settlement.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported last week that former Masterchef contest Dani Venn had fallen victim to a PEXA fraud – losing $250,000 from the settlement of her property. On Monday, Venn said that she had recovered half of the amount stolen.
PEXA is an online conveyancing network formed as part of a 2008 Council of Australia Governments agenda to digitise Australian property transactions.
Macquarie Bank is PEXA’s largest shareholder with other shareholders including former Toll chairman Paul Little, ASX-listed Link Group and the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.
The PEXA software cost about $120 million to develop in 2010.
PEXA acting chief executive James Ruddock said that the incident would not impact any potential change in ownership for the company. "
PEXA has robust fraud protections and strict authentication procedures built into its platform,” he said.
“Given the online environment in which we operate, we continually review and enhance these. The PEXA platform was not hacked. These are isolated incidents and do not represent a wider or systemic risk to the PEXA platform.”
The listing of Property Exchange Australia was originally flagged in 2015, with shareholder Macquarie pursuing a dual-track sale for the electronic settlements business. PEXA investors Link Group and Paul Little are rumoured to be interested in acquiring the platform.
Late last month, the ASX announced that it is partnering with technology group Infotrack to enter the electronic property settlement market, investing $30 million to create a new company, “Sympli”.
The digital joint venture will compete with PEXA, which is currently the dominant player in the digital conveyancing sector.