EasyProperty, a new online real estate agent which was co-founded by businessman Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is planning a further share placement or initial public offering in the second half of 2015. It aims to raise funds to expand in Europe, the chief executive has said.
easyProperty is joining several companies that are moving the traditional high street estate and letting agency business online. It helps customers rent out their houses in England and Wales and accounding to the Reuters news agency intends to raise a “significantly larger” amount than the 9.75 million pounds ($14.51 million) it raised through a share placement in September.
CEO Rob Ellice told Reuters:
“At the next round, we’d be seeing someone of a larger scale put a bigger chunk of money into the business” Ellice co-founded the company and is its largest shareholder. He said he had been contacted by funds from the United States, France and Germany, and asked how the company planned to raise funds, he said: “I think we’re looking at both an IPO and a pre-IPO round at the moment.”
The last fundraising round, the company’s second, valued easyProperty at 66 million pounds.
Other online real estate agents are working towards a listing this year, including Purplebricks and Hunters UK. They are looking to take advantage of a strong equity market, healthy demand for lettings, and a UK housing market which continues to rise.
Despite the fact that housing sales transactions have dipped ahead of UK’s May general election, investors and property industry experts are expecting demand to increase in the second half of 2015.
The easyProperty brand name is on a lease for 20 years from Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of budget airline easyJet.
As well as attracting investment from the crowdfunding platform, easyProperty also includes high some net worth private individuals among its investors. The next move planned for EasyProperty is to launch its services in Scotland, and has told the Reuters news agency it will hire another financial adviser along with Chrystal Capital Partners, the financial boutique that managed its first two fundraising rounds.
Ellice said the company is in preliminary deal talks with local partners in two countries and has licences to enter France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Greece.
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) April 23, 2015