LONDON – Online property portal OnTheMarket will seek to raise £50 million in a stock market flotation which it will use to fund a “heavy-weight” national advertising campaign.
The firm said in a statement on Friday that it would offer a minority stake to investors and seek a valuation between £200 million and £250 million when it is floated on the London Stock Exchange.
The statement said it would use the capital to launch a national TV, digital and print media, grow its sales team, and improve its technology.
Property portals are websites where estate agents can list properties to rent or sell, and the battle for market share is intense.
OnTheMarket was launched by estate agents themselves in 2015 to challenge what it called the “duopoly” of rival portals Rightmove and Zoopla – the biggest and second-biggest portals respectively – which charge agents expensive monthly subscription fees.
It has quickly eaten into Rightmove and Zoopla’s market share in a sometimes ugly war of words and intends to become the market leader with an “agent-controlled” alternative which charges agents less to advertise and gives them more say.
Ian Springett, chief Chief Executive of Agents’ Mutual, said:
“This is the beginning of a very exciting new chapter in our development. With the support of thousands of estate and lettings agents, we have rapidly established OnTheMarket.com as the third biggest player in the UK residential property portals market.
“For consumers and agents alike, we are committed to creating a genuine agent-controlled alternative challenger business and brand to the two leading incumbent portals. We believe that by raising capital from new investors we will substantially strengthen our market position.”