Skip to main content online real estate agent To Sell Big Stake To Toscafund

The online estate agent backed by Sir Stelios Haji-Iaonnou [pictured], the easyJet founder, is to raise nearly £15m from a top City investor in a deal that will take the company's value through the £100m milestone.

Toscafund, which has made a string of successful investments in innovative consumer-facing companies such as esure, the motor insurer, is investing about £14m in return for a stake of roughly 15% in easyProperty.

The deal, which will provide easyProperty with significant firepower to invest in marketing and expanding its services, is expected to be announced later this week, according to people close to the situation.

It will come at a time of growing consumer demand for and investor interest in the online estate agency sector, with rival Purplebricks last week announcing a stock market flotation valuing it at close to £250m.

Toscafund, which is run by Martin Hughes,[pictured above] a respected City figure,one of the UK's richest hedge fund managers,
 is a big shareholder in companies including Redrow, the housebuilder, and Findel, the home shopping group where it is at loggerheads with Mike Ashley, the Newcastle United owner, over his efforts to secure the appointment of a board director.

What's more interesting is Tosca asset management has made investments in Aldermore Bank plc 2014 and most recently Atom Bank November 2015; both are a new breed of banks that are 100% online using financial technology fintech which is supported and encouraged by the government, along with online real estate industry development. 

onthemarket commented on this piggybank stratedgy of using online banks to quickly increase revenue stream, via a financial portfolio of products

EasyProperty was established with the backing of Sir Stelios last year, and was initially seeking £5m to fund its expansion.

However, discussions with Toscafund are understood to have led to a decision to expand the fundraising in order to accelerate its growth.

Toscafund is said to have been attracted to easyProperty's pure online model, its proprietary technology and the high level of awareness for easy-branded companies.

Mr Hughes' firm is understood to have secured an option to invest a further £9m in easyProperty at the same valuation at an undisclosed future date.

EasyProperty claims to be the largest online property platform in the UK, with more than 5000 sales and rental listings.

This week, the company plans to launch a service enabling property buyers and sellers to exchange contracts online.

It is majority-owned by its founders and management, with existing investors understood to be contributing about £2m to the latest funding round.

In a statement last month, a spokeswoman said: "We can confirm easyProperty’s CEO Rob Ellice has been undertaking a planned third round of investment talks in line with commercial plans to fund the continued expansion of the growing online estate agency business."

Mr Ellice was unavailable for comment on Monday.

According to documents circulated among potential investors and , easyProperty has an exclusive 20-year agreement with easyGroup which covers any property-related services in the UK.

It also has an option to expand the business into six other European markets, including France, Germany, Greece and Italy, while easyGroup has an option to buy a further 3.4% of the property company's shares.

"The market is highly fragmented and poorly serviced by the expensive traditional estate agency model," said a person close to the company.

The fundraising has been led by Chrystal Capital, an advisory firm.

Further Reading 

Elon Musk's Tesla Power Wall and German Manufacturers of renewable energy ,battle over battery-powered homes

why Frank Whittle and the Saville row tailor have more in common with Warren Buffet

The Flint House wins Riba House of The Year Grand Designs

New right-to-buy boom: 1,000 people a week signing up to housing association sell-off ahead of launch of new scheme bags £1.3M seed funding as Airbnb management Service

Bank of England dampens prospects of early UK rate rise >Raising interest rates to deal with housing market problems would hit the rest of the economy too hard

Reversal After Breaking Its 52-Week High RightMove Plc ?

Hatched By Russell Quirk CEO emoov Online Estate Agency how the online estate agency Industry is playing out

why papering over the cracks won't help, Country Wide PLC

Richard Branson warns estate agents - keep a close eye on how new technologies or changing consumer habits could threaten future income streams Industry first online agent to use #BlackFriday for Home selling for less than £500!

A turnaround decade for housing Speech given by Greg Clark to the National House Building Council (NHBC) in London.

Home Buyers purchasing a property in the last 12 months Stamp duty move 'brought £4,500 saving'

Steady quarter for new homes boosted by October figures, reports NHBC

UK Property Markets Bank Of England Financial Stability Report December 2015 | Issue No. 38

Almost twice as many brits believe that property makes better use of cash then isa , pensions stock , shares ,premium bonds

Buildings Day Cop 21 Mobilising the building and Construction Sector for Climate Change

London’s housing crisis > Blue and Red debates @ London Mayor Question Time & Boris Johnson in Paris for Climate Change Conference Cop21

Government launches National Infrastructure Commission to get Britain building

The shadow housing minister Rt Hon John Healy MP does an AMA On Reddit

Bank of England warns action may need to be taken in the buy to let property market following a sharpincrease in the number of properties acquired by investors with the intention of renting them out

Government encourages online real estate agents A better deal: boosting competition to bring down bills for families and firms

Zac Goldsmith: housing crisis number one priority in London – what needs to be done

Spending Review and Autumn Statement Live 2015 by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's Housing property StampDuty

Full year results for the year ended 30 September 2015 Zoopla Property Group Plc

Newly Elected Labour Candidate, for Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, outlines his Housing Policies

More buy-to-let landlords searching for mortgages on cheaper properties + housing market shows no sign of slowing down winter months