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Online agency exceeds target to raise £1.7m through crowdfunding

eMoov has far exceeded its original target of raising £1m in its latest crowdfunding pitch and, with two days to go, it has raised £1.7m.

Yesterday alone just over £100,000 was invested and over the course of the fund-raising campaign, which began formally on September 1, the largest single investment has been £350,000.

The campaign has been an interesting example of how crowdfunding can work when run by experienced hands. 


eMoov ensured an existing 'celebrity' investor - ex-Dragon's Den entrepreneur James Caan - lent his name to the exercise and tweeted support and links, as did the agency's ebullient founder and chief executive, Russell Quirk.

A well-publicised 'friends and family' period of investment was arranged for the three days before the pitch was open to public investors, and then a series of well-timed press releases and social media comments kept the pitch in the public eye. 

After only four days the campaign had raised two-thirds of its original £1m target; now the target has been exceeded and may yet be doubled by the end of Thursday, when the investment window closes.

Quirk says his firm is valued at £20m, having secured over £2m in past investments from the likes of Simon Murdoch’s venture capital firm Episode 1. 

“We have plans for a further raise in early 2016, with an IPO or private sale anticipated thereafter” says Quirk.

  • Chris Arnold

    The more they raise, the more they have to return to investors. Can't see this coming from profits. What are PB going to do. Sit back and watch? What little business ends up online isn't going to provide much of a dividend.
    Warren Buffett, who knows a thing or two about investing, chose to invest in a high Street realtor brand. There is a man that puts integrity at the heart of everything he does! This is a simple exercise in financial manipulation.

  • Richard White

    I had my first 'end user' experience of an 'online' estate agency at the weekend.

    Looking to move, and seeing somewhere that could fit the bill, I rang Tepilo. I had to ring because the marketing material on Rightmove was very poor and it was impossible to understand from the listing whether the photo was a real house or a mock-up of one that you could build if you utilised the apparent planning permission that came with the sale. It really was that vague.

    So, I called and spoke to someone, based nowhere near, who knew absolutely nothing about the property and couldn't even tell me if the pictures we were looking at was a real house or not. They said they'd call back, which in fairness they did, to advise me to register and email the vendor.

    Is it just me or is this really quite rubbish? Maybe this was just a bad experience, but it confirmed everything I've felt about this type of agency from the first time they crept onto the scene 15 years ago, which is that they are simply cut-price, DIY efforts.

    What has that got to do with this? It reminds me that this sort of venture is still very much the White Elephant it was years ago.

  • Richard White

    Where have my paragraph breaks gone? Tsk!

  • Richard White

    Thanks for making me look stoopid ;-)

  • Stephanos Constantinou

    Congrats eMoov.. so far so good!! But based on Richard experience, I think its a really good example to understand how online agents are working at the moment.! Imagine you are an online agent and your based in London and you receive a call from a buyer who is interested to buy a house in a village 15 min away from Bangor (a place that you've never ever heard of)... and he/she ask you to give them details about the area,the prices or more specific things like the closest hospital, schools etc... how confident you will feel answering all this questions??

  • Algarve  Investor

    It still makes perfect sense, Richard. Interesting to hear your experience, although it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the online model.

    I'm still on the fence about them. I think, in some cases, they can do a very good job, as good as a traditional agent. And there will always be an appetite for cheaper fees and greater innovation. We also know that cheaper doesn't necessarily mean worse.

    Like with anything, there will be good online agents, bad ones and average ones. Just like the traditional model. What baffles me is, if trad agents are so convinced that online agents are no threat, why do they get so defensive about them? Also, the fact that the online model has been around for 15 years suggests it's not merely a short-term fad. And more and more of them are entering the market.

    Richard White

    I think traditional agents get annoyed because it's the same old boring mantra being wheeled out year after year. It's the property version of Buzz Aldrin being asked 5 times a day if the Moon Landings were real or not.

    Even if 50% of all sales went online (which they won't) there still wouldn't be nearly enough money generated to pay all the IT development costs and staff and (furious) investors.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Ooh, looks like you're not alone, Richard. My paragraphs have disappeared too.

  • Rob  Davies

    Yes, congratulations eMoov, although the figure is hugely skewed by Caan's investment and the family and friends period of investment.

    Still, you can't really sniff too much at the final figure raised. Crowdfunding does seem to be the in-thing at the moment. Whether it is just a short-term thing or something more permanent remains to be seen. But it's certainly an excellent way for small and medium sized businesses to accrue funds and a good way of drumming up publicity - something Mr Quirk is expert at!

  • icon

    eMoov have just hit £2 million. https://www.crowdcube.com/investment/emoov-co-uk-18256

  • icon

    Thanks for the update, Luke. I'm surprised Russell hadn't already popped up to tell us that!

  • Simon Shinerock

    He is now officially too important :) not really Russell


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