'Amazon-style' property marketplace in £500k funding bid
UK-based property marketplace TheHouseShop has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign hoping to raise at least £500,000.
Launched in 2016 by ex-MD of CitiGroup Sebastien Goldenberg and serial property entrepreneur Nick Marr, the company was set up to create an "inclusive" platform to bring the entire property market 'under one roof'.
TheHouseShop has developed what it describes as an "Amazon-style" marketplace where private and professional players sit alongside one other.
It allows both private individuals and estate agents free access to the platform, which has already listed three million properties to date.
"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," said co-founder Nick Marr.
"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."
Marr stressed that traditional estate agents "still have a crucial role to play in the market" and insisted that the company wants to help agents grow their businesses and reach an alternative audience by working together.
"Unlike many of our competitors, we are all about inclusivity and we don't exclude any section of the market," he added.
TheHouseShop is hoping to raise at least £500,000 through equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube and has already reached 50 per cent of its target during a pre-launch phase.
CEO Sebastien Goldenberg said: "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 five 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."
Since its launch two years ago, TheHouseShop has expanded rapidly and now has over 30 'smart services' to offer buyers, renters, sellers, landlords and estate agents including comparison services, reference checks and a rent collection service in partnership with Experian.
TheHouseShop is raising £500,000 at a pre-money valuation of £10 million.