LONDON – Two of the UK’s leading “PropTech” – property technology – companies have announced fundraisings of over £45 million between them over the last few days.
Yopa, an online estate agent that offers a fixed transaction fee rather than taking a percentage of the sale, announced late on Friday that it had raised £27.6 million from estate agent group LSL and Daily Mail-owner DMGT.
Digital mortgage broker Habito has also raised £18.5 million in a fundraising led by European venture capital fund Atomico. The news was first reported by the Telegraph on Saturday but confirmed to Business Insider over email.
Both companies are part of the UK’s flourishing “PropTech” scene, with a slew of new businesses self-identifying as “PropTech” in the wake of the success of the broader fintech sector over the last few years.
Other notable recent deals this year include a £9 million investment for online estate agent eMoov last month, £8 million in March for Nested, a startup that guarantees to sell you home in 90 days, and a £4.5 million investment in online mortgage broker Trussle in February.
Anthony Codling and Sam Cullen, analysts at Jefferies who cover LSL, said the Yopa deal is a savvy bet on the future of the estate agency market, noting that other traditional agents have backed the startup.
“LSL is not the only traditional agent to take an interest in Yopa,” the analysts said, “Savills has also invested in the Group.
“We note that in the past traditional agents have done very well by co-investing in new technology, with Rightmove and Zoopla being the best examples, in our view.”
Zoopla announced in February 2016 plans to invest in and partner with PropTech businesses in February last year as part of plans to future-proof its business.
Ian Crabb, CEO of LSL, said in a statement announcing the Yopa investment: “We have been impressed by the Yopa management team, their business model and the technological capability which they have built.”
As for Habito, Atomico’s Niall Wass said in a statement that the big inefficiencies within the mortgage market present an attractive investment opportunity.
“Habito is a solution that is better for both sides of the mortgage market and with a great team executing with technology and customer service at its heart,” Wass said in a statement.
Habito has advised 50,000 people on mortgages worth over half a billion since its launch in April last year, the company said.
Yopa, which raised £15 million in May, plans to put the new money towards fuelling growth. Habito plans to invest in technology, integrate its systems with unnamed leading banks, and invest in advertising.