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Online agency smashes crowdfund target - with two weeks to go

Doorsteps, the online agency founded by a teenager, has raised over £700,000 - that’s 175 per cent of its original £400,000 target, and there are still two weeks to go.

Akshay Ruparella was only 18 when he founded Doorsteps; now, two years later, the company is said to be valued at £20m.

With its £40,000 target for this round of fundraising, Ruparella was offering 3.22 per cent of equity in the business and says the funds raised will be used to hire staff “to provide higher value services and cope with current levels of demand.” 

He says he is aiming for a 1.9 per cent share of the UK market in the next 12 months and to double his current Average Revenue Per Customer - a key measure for his agency.

Ruparella’s latest pitch on the Crowdcube site - where he raised £500,000 with another pitch last year - starts with the words “The High Street is dying” and claims “Estate Agents are central to that decimation” citing Countrywide’s branch closures as a sign of the demise of traditional agency. 

“Our goal is to become the largest and best serving estate agent in Britain. We want to be the ‘go-to’ place to sell your home, with a blend of real-life agents and technology to offer fixed, fair pricing” the pitch says.

Doorsteps charges from £99 to sell a property and claims have saved customers an estimated £4m in fees so far. It is currently listing over 2,000 properties and claims to be the 10th largest estate agent. 

“This was achieved without a penny spent in advertising - only via word of mouth only and PR. When people save £5k+ on their property sale - they DO tell others! Service is central to this mission” the pitch continues. 

Ruparella, meanwhile, appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Question Time this weekend as one of the country’s leading young entrepreneurs.

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