It’s been a busy 12 months for the property industry when it comes to tech.
First Zoopla floated. Then Agent’s Mutual vowed on behalf of estate agents to fight back against Zoopla and Rightmove. Then Purple Bricks raised £8m to undercut the market. Now, another contestant is entering the fray.
easyProperty, the brainchild of easyJet entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has launched and is raising £1m via equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
The new ‘easy’ venture will allow potential landlords to pick and choose the package they want, including advertising, photography, tenancy agreements, mortgages, surveys and other property services. They will pay no administration fees or commission.
It will function with the same no frills mantra as easyJet and the other easyGroup ventures.
Similar to competitor Purple Bricks, the service is almost 100% online so that they can pass on savings to users.
If you asked someone on the street to name three online estate agents, I doubt they could name one.
Head of Acquisition Marketing Jonathan Moore explained to Tech City News he believes easyProperty will flourish ahead of its competitors because of the strength of the’easy’ brand.
Whether there is space in the crowded property market remains to be seen but what is surprising is the inital valuation of the new business.
The crowdfunding campaign is offering the £1m equity deal for a 1.5% stake in the company. That values a company that has just launched at £67m.
Moore explained that it was a valuation they reached in consultation with institutional investors who were putting money into the business.
Real estate is a massive market. In the UK, it’s estimated being worth £5tn and tech real estate has exploded in recent months.
Zoopla’s IPO valued it at over $1.5bn and Property Partner raised £1.25m pre-launch earlier this week.
A post on the campaign’s page explains that the reason they have opened the investment to the public is to “give customers the ability to invest in a platform that also allows them to make huge savings”.
With 11 days left of the campaign, only 7% of the £1m target has been reached though this is unlikely to worry the company. The post explains that any shortfall of the £1m target will “just be filled out with the institutional money”.
Moore reiterated that they didn’t have to offer the crowdfunding round and that it is simply their way of getting the community involved.
The service launches next week and the business already has an exit in sight, with a very tentative IPO date set for three years time.