Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stelios launches £1m crowdfunding campaign for property start-up, easyProperty

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is hoping to raise £1m from armchair investors to launch his new online estate agent

Sir Stelios Haji-Iannou has launched a new crowdfunding campaign to raise £1m in start-up capital for easyProperty, the latest venture in the easyGroup portfolio of companies, which aims to change the way people buy, sell, let and rent property.
Prospective investors have two weeks to invest the total amount in exchange for a 1.5pc stake of the firm. This results in a price per ordinary share of approximately £7.13.
easyProperty is a new online estate agent concept from the Greek-Cypriot billionaire, who founded low-cost airline easyJet in 1995. With this start-up, Sir Stelios is attempting to challenge the industry incumbents by offering unbundled, individually priced property services at huge discounts.
Users will be able to pick and choose from a range of easyProperty services, including advertising on property portals, professional photography, tenancy agreements, accompanied viewings, as well as mortgages, insurance and conveyancing, and pay a single one-off fee with no admin charges or commission.
Sir Stelios has teamed up with Robert Ellice, formerly of estate agency Clarke Hillyer, to bring the new venture to market.
“Traditional agents have got to wake up to the modern world – it’s adapt or die,” Mr Ellice, who is chief executive of the new company, has said.
easyProperty will launch across the UK later this month. It joins existing player Zoopla, which is attempting to wrest control from traditional estate agencies.
The service will initially focus on lettings before expanding the offering to sales in the summer of 2015 and then expanding internationally across Europe.
With 10,000 properties already pre-registered, the site aims to be letting around 4,000-5,000 homes a month by the end of this year.
Alongside the Crowdcube investment round, easyProperty is also fundraising for a further £6.5m from private investors. The business raised £4.5m in February of this year to fund initial development.