UK-based property marketplace, TheHouseShop, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube, offering investors a chance to own a stake in the company and join their mission to create a fairer, safer and cheaper way to transact property. Launched in 2016 by ex-MD of CitiGroup, Sebastien Goldenberg, and serial property entrepreneur, Nick Marr, TheHouseShop was created with the aim of bringing the entire property market under one roof.
Unlike the big agent-only portals (Rightmove and Zoopla), TheHouseShop developed a unique inclusive model that allowed them to work with everyone involved in the property market. By allowing both private individuals and estate agents free access to the platform, TheHouseShop has created an “Amazon-style” marketplace where private and professional players sit alongside one another.
Traditionally, estate agents have been reluctant to work alongside private vendors and landlords, but Co-founder, Nick Marr, argues that times have changed and that the blending of private and professional players on a single platform is the way forward for the industry.
While many new entrants into the PropTech space have focused on working with the power of the portal duopoly, TheHouseShop has created a platform that is designed to sit alongside the titans of the industry – without trying to take them down.
Co-founder, Nick Marr, explains why now is the right time to launch a crowdfunding campaign and why their inclusive model is the way forward for the industry: “We’ve always loved the idea of offering our customers and the general public the chance to own a share in the company, but the timing has never been quite right, until now. The property market has changed dramatically over the past couple of years, but no one else seems to have developed a platform that works equally for everyone involved in the market. That’s where TheHouseShop steps in.”
“Unlike the big agent-only portals, we work with both private individuals and professional estate agents. We wanted to make sure that our offering to agents was just as attractive and valuable as our offering to the general public. We believe that traditional estate agents still have a crucial role to play in the market and we want to help agents grow their businesses and reach an alternative audience by working with us.”
“We are all about inclusivity and we don’t exclude any section of the market. This means we’ve created a truly unique marketplace where consumers can see all their options in one place and have a safer, cheaper and fairer way to transact property.”
CEO, Sebastien Goldenberg, continued: “Our fundraising target is £500,000 and we’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support and interest that we’ve received so far. We believe we’ve got a really valuable and unique proposition that allows investors to hold a stake in every aspect of the property market, instead of a just one part of it.”
“The predicted growth in the private rental market over the next 5 years presents a huge opportunity for us. Demand for private landlords is at an all-time high and we’ve seen the number of DIY landlords using our platform sky-rocket over the past 2 years. Without a doubt, the private rental market will be a key growth area for the industry over the next 5-10 years – and we are perfectly placed to take full advantage of this.”
The property marketplace has expanded rapidly over the past 2 years and now has over 30 smart services to offer their unique mix of buyers, renters, sellers, landlords, and estate agents. With everything from comparison services and professional valuations to reference checks, financial services and a unique rent collection service in partnership with Experian – TheHouseShop have employed the ‘network effect’ to quickly increase their customer base and improve user experience while keeping costs low.
“We want to give investors the chance to get involved at this crucial stage in our growth and join us on our mission to unite the property market under one roof,” said Nick Marr, Co-founder of TheHouseShop.
Edited by Gordana Davila
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