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Hybrid agent turns to crowdfunding to raise up to £250,000

NES NS

A hybrid agent is looking to raise money on crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Its ‘front page’ pitch says Vesper Homes is looking for investment of £100,000 in exchange for 8% of equity in the company.

However, in the longer pitch document it says it is seeking £250,000, with £100,000 being the minimum.

The business is much more tightly focused than most, and concentrates on overseas landlords with London properties.

It currently operates out of two offices, one in central London and one in Richmond, Surrey.

It will use the money raised to recruit more staff, invest in a technology platform and open an office in Singapore next year.

By yesterday it had raised £26,392.

According to its pitch, its valuation pre-money is £1,150,800.

The company says in its pitch that it is strongly focused on lettings, and that Vesper Homes has been “at the forefront of the rental revolution for the last few years”, offering “all the services of a high street agent yet at a 50% reduced fee”.

It says that overseas landlords are not currently well catered for by traditional or online agents – and that it aims to offer overseas landlords increased rents and yields.

Primarily aimed at the London rental market, it says London landlords are over-charged and under-serviced. It values the London rental market at £8.7bn.

Vesper Homes was launched in 2014 and says it has carried out 680 letting transactions since launch and registered 450 sales properties.

It says its turnover in 2015/16 was £201,000.

Its business model, according to the pitch, heavily undercuts other London firms, including Foxtons, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, Chase Evans, John D Wood, Chestertons, Knight Frank and Savills.

For example, Vesper Homes will charge 4% for a let-only service, 6% for let and rent collect, and 8% for full letting and management – undercutting some firms on the last by 9 or 10%.

Vesper Homes forecasts that it will bring in nearly £3.5m in sales by next March.

The Vesper Homes team is led by its co-founder James Cameron, formerly with Countrywide.

The pitch document does not rule out expanding into other UK cities, or merging with a traditional agent that wants to go into a hybrid model.

Notably, the pitch is not as ambitious as the successful one just concluded by Doorsteps, which said it was worth £12m. The pitch raised £550,00, well over the £400,000 originally sought.

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Source:: Hybrid agent turns to crowdfunding to raise up to £250,000