« Back to all posts

Revealed: The hundreds of millions poured into online and hybrid agents


Ten of the UK’s top online/hybrid agents have raised nearly £250m between them since they were launched.

Nearly 40% of that figure is accounted for by Purplebricks alone.

EYE looked into the funding of 14 of the biggest names in the sector to see how much financial backing they have received since their respective launches.

While it isn’t possible to be completely accurate, every effort has been made to get as close as possible to the most likely figure.

In some cases, well-known names have been entirely self-funded, whereas others have received huge levels of backing from investors.

The list, in order of the amount of financial backing received, is as follows:

1) Purplebricks: £97m
Purplebricks raised £22m ahead of its IPO 2015, £25m at its IPO, and a further £50m through an issue of new shares in 2017.

A spokesman for Purplebricks said: “As at October 31, Purplebricks reported £64.4m and no debt, following cash reducing £6.9m in the half – which broadly matches US start-up losses. So all in all the company has raised £97m for a business which is today valued at £1.1bn.”

2) Yopa: £58.6m
Yopa won the backing of Grosvenor Hill Ventures, the investment arm of Savills, when it was just six months old, with £16m in funding. It raised £15m from investors including Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) and Grosvenor Hill Ventures in May 2017. That was followed by another £27.6m in September 2017, of which £20m was from LSL Property Services and a further £7.6m was from DMGT (the Daily Mail).

3) HouseSimple: £33m
HouseSimple, launched in 2015 by Alex and Sophie Gosling, raised £13m in a funding round led by Carphone Warehouse founder Sir Charles Dunstone and his business partner Roger Taylor via Toscafund Asset Management and Freston Ventures. That was followed in December 2017 by another £20m investment.

4) easyProperty: £27m
EasyProperty started with a £1.4m round of crowdfunding in 2014, followed by a £9.75m share placement in September 2014. A third round of funding in 2015 saw it raise another £16m from Toscafund prior to its merger with GPEA.

5) Emoov: £16m
Emoov has raised £16m over four rounds of funding, including £1.95m in 2014, £1.5m in January 2015, £2.6m in October 2015, £50,000 in December 2016 and £9m in August 2017 from venture capitalists.

6) EweMove: £9m
EweMove was self-funded by its founders until Property Franchise bought it for £15m of which £8m was upfront and £7m deferred subsequently re-negotiated to a total of £9m, which has now been fully paid up.

7) House Network: £5m
House Network, founded in 2004 by current CEO Mark Readings, grew organically and received only low levels of funding until a 2017 cash injection of £5m from private investors. It aims to break even within two years.

8) Settled: £2.4m
Settled has raised £2.4m, including around £150,000 in seed funding in November 2014, followed by £1m in July 2016 and then another £1.2m in June 2017 from venture capitalists Connect Ventures and Piton Capital.

9) Sellmyhome: £1m
Sellmyhome has raised £1m.

Director Will Clark said: “MyHomeGroup – (SellMyHome & RentMyHome) is privately owned and has grown revenues in excess of 200% year on year over the last three years.

“We are focused on building a brand known for premium customer service and benefit greatly from our natural brand recognition.

“To date we have received around £1m investment and the business has yet to receive external funding.”

10) Doorsteps.co.uk: £507,000
Akshay Ruparelia, who founded Doorsteps last year while still at school, initially raised £7,000 from family followed by £500,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube last summer. The largest private investor in that round was Julian Mylchreest, a senior managing director of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Taken together, the ten agencies above have raised £249.5m between them.

EYE contacted four further agencies.

Springbok could not be reached for comment.

Express Estate Agency claims to be self-funded but has not provided further details.

Tepilo, which is owned by Northern & Shell, would not comment on its funding and few details are publicly available.

Hatched, owned by Connells, also declined to comment.


Email the story to a friend

daily news
email from EYE

straight to your inbox

Join 20,000 industry colleagues
and subscribe to our free daily news email.

(You may unsubscribe at any time and we promise never to sell or pass on your email address)

Thank you! To complete the subscription, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

TDS NSBELVOIRHamilton Fraser NSNES NSON THE MARKETViewber 1 NSMY DEPOSITSTPO CONF NSNFOPP SkyscraperHUNTERS 1 NSjobs board nsArena Push news story pages

[ comments ]

Source:: Revealed: The hundreds of millions poured into online and hybrid agents