Three Aussie Startups That Are Trying To Disrupt The Big Guns

Because everyone loves an underdog.

17/10/2016 5:47 AM AEDT | Updated 17/10/2016 11:24 AM AEDT
Supplied/Hello Cars
One happy customer.

Some industries need a little shaking up -- Uber did it with the taxi industry and Airbnb turned the accommodation world on its head.

And consumers are loving it.

No industry is immune, especially those with very entrenched traditions such as real estate, travel and the automotive sectors. But three Aussie startups are giving it a red hot go.

Here's how they're doing it.

Real estate for charity

Sydney real estate agent Radley Property is attempting to take the greed out of the industry's reputation by introducing a little philanthropy.

Radley Property
Michael Radovnikovic and Belinda Bentley want consumers to care about philanthropy through real estate.

The company's business model includes a donation of 20 percent of the agreed agent's fee to charity or not-for-profit organisation -- 10 percent of which goes to Radley's chosen groups Room to Read and the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and the other 10 percent is donated to the seller's choice as a tax deduction.

So for a home sale price of $775,000 -- assuming a 2 percent commission -- it would mean $3100 is donated.

Co-Founder and Director Belinda Bentley says this is a deliberate move to not only offer a point of difference, but to change the way consumers view real estate agents.

"I think the real estate industry has had it good for a very long time and I think it needs disruption," she told The Huffington Post Australia.

"There needs to be diversity in service offerings and real estate is one area where it hasn't happened and had been protected for quite a long time."

There is a movement of more and more socially-conscious people.

She was inspired to create the agency after her work with Philanthropy of Australia's New Generation of Giving program, and wanted to build a model that would give money to groups who need it and inspire others to continue to donate. And she says there's a definite market for her services, citing the success of social enterprises Who Gives A Crap and Thankyou.

"There is a movement of more and more socially-conscious people that if you put a product out there, people want to be engaged with socially-conscious businesses," she said.

"Hopefully it can become a conversation starter for people about the causes they care about and want to support."

Say hello to HelloCars

Australians buy everything online now -- from cosmetics to books and sports equipment -- but what about cars?

Brothers Paul and Michael Higgins have launched HelloCars, a platform where people can buy and sell vehicles and do it cheaper and safer than through a car dealer or a private seller.

Brothers Paul and Michael Higgins want to take the scare factor out of used car sales.

It's not a peer-to-peer model -- the brothers buy cars outright from sellers, give them a 230-point inspection and then list them on the site.

Michael Higgins says this concept is designed to remove the hassle factor out of dealing with used car salespeople.

"No one says, 'I can't wait to talk to a used car salesman today'," he told HuffPost Australia. "It's just a confrontational process. There's also a complete lack of transparency in the industry and we wanted to do something better and completely different for our customers."

All prices on HelloCars vehicles are fixed, so there's no stress about haggling with a dealer over the price, and the brothers say their fees are half what a dealer would charge, so consumers save money.

Michael says HelloCars also takes the fear factor out of selling or buying on forums such as Gumtree.

"Selling your car privately, there are a lot of security concerns -- physical security riding with a stranger for a test drive but also the fraud element as well," he said.

Once buyers choose a car it is detailed and delivered (with a huge bow) but they have 7 days to return it if it doesn't suit.

HelloCars' first customer was not a Millennial, but a 72-year-old bloke.

And if you thought this might be something only younger people will go for, the brothers' first customer was a 72-year-old bloke.

"I congratulated him on being an Australian first for completely buying a used car online sight-unseen and he didn't really see the whole fuss about it all," said Paul. "He just really thought it was normal. It was really encouraging."

Holidays are just a layby away

The good old days of layby are back in vogue with new travel startup, LayAway.

The business model is pretty simple -- book a holiday and pay it off in instalments before you go so you can take advantage of great travel deals without having to find huge amounts of cash at once.

"It is a flexible payment solution for travellers who want to book their holiday in advance and pay it off at a rate that suits their budget," Andrew Paykel, LayAway Travel's Managing Director told HuffPost Australia. "We want to change the travel habits of Australians, by giving everyone the opportunity to travel the world for just a few dollars a day.

"We have people signed up who never thought travelling with their families or as a single parent would be possible, and now they're about to jet off to Disneyland, Fiji, and other destinations, and will return debt-free when they return."

Pete Seaward
This could be you -- for the price of a coffee a day on LayAway.

An earlier version of this story stated that the return period for Hello Cars was 30 days. It is in fact 7 days.

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