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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Emoov sale ‘must be done in days - time is of the essence'

Time appears to be running short for the sale of troubled online agency Emoov.

An Emoov insider has told Estate Agent Today that “time is of the essence” in terms of existing funding and the sale deal. 

The agency has been known to be hunting for possible buyers since late October when it was revealed that investment which had been anticipated after the spring merger with Tepilo and online platform Urban apparently failed to materialise.

The source told EAT that “around 10 parties are now in discussion” with Emoov - some interested in a possible outright purchase, others considering investment - and that five areas have emerged as possible drivers for purchasers:

- The technology platform used by Emoov: this appears more advanced than that used by other online firms. The bespoke platform, called HERO, permits individual vendors to access and edit a listing, edit photographs and schedule viewing times;

- Brand awareness of Emoov: In addition to frequent media appearances by Emoov founder Russell Quirk, the agency has this year spent substantial sums on its Emoovment advertising campaign and has won 2018 Best Online Agent and 2018 Best Marketing Campaign awards at the Property Wire and UK PropTech awards respectively;

- Existing stock and associated data: Emoov claims across its three merged brands (Emoov, Tepilo and lettings platform Urban) that it takes on around 850 new properties per month, while Urban has a substantial landlord database; 

- SEO rankings for both Emoov and Tepilo brands; 

- Media for Equity deal with Channel 4: formally known as Channel 4's Commercial Growth Fund, this provides free airtime on the broadcaster in return for equity stakes in technology start-ups, and this is believed to have been a part of the deal this spring when Emoov merged with Tepilo and Urban. EAT’s source at Emoov believes some £2.5m of this fund remains unspent.

EAT understands that valuations so far have been - in the words of our source - “incredibly attractive” for the potential buyers and investors, and well below the high figures cited in previous deals for online agencies. 

Another source inside the agency, with whom EAT spoke three weeks ago, said at the time that the sum which Emoov expected to settle for would be well below the £100m widely believed to be the figure spent on the merger some months ago.

The most stark piece of information, however, was that our latest source believed time was now of the essence in terms of Emoov’s existing funding and that “a deal needs to be done in the coming days - and the price for the business will reflect that.” 

  • Andrew Stanton Estate Agency Insights And Strategies

    I am a little lost why the Tepilo Emoov Urban merger would have cost 100M?

    The best I can come up with is that think a newspaper speculated some months ago that a tie up of Tepilo and Emoov would create an agency 'valued at 100K', (but not sure who would put that value on it.) I do know at the time of the tie up of the the two Tepilo and Emoov from the accounts last filed for Tepilo, no profit had been made.

    Emoov appear not to have made any real profit if you take out crowdfunding and other funding, and Urban well no profit there either.

    So a tie up of three concerns who do not make profit, but by getting larger they will now start to have critical mass and turn things around?

    Well Purplebricks certainly have a lot of critical mass, and have a huge amount of throughput of capital, mainly as all clients have to pay and many upfront and those who do not pay in 10 months or less.

    But still after year four, it has a collective loss of 47M. Maybe 2019 will be their year, but, their losses this year are far larger than last year, and their turnover has grown by the biggest margin so far.

    So cash into the company hugely increased, with also an injection of 125M for a 12.5% stake of the company, but the largest losses so far? Maybe it is me, but should the figures not be going the other way?

    I will be told that Purplebricks are acquiring other businesses, and when the model matures, all will be ok, but the present share price, at around 178p, well down from the heady 500p plus a share, tells me that the city is not so convinced.

    Thoughts?





    So, a bit like Doorsteps which valued itself at nearly 10M when it started trading, and is now offering it's services for a £1, having never made a profit. Yes it has raised over 1.2M in private fundraising, thanks to crowdcube, but you soon burn through that if the true cost of sale is around 2.5K, and you are charging a fraction of that.

    For me there seem to be two models, online agents who charge low fees, (but the cost of sale is identical to the traditional agents with offices) who keep on getting capital injections to subsidise the sums they do not charge the client.

    And traditional agents who charge on average in the UK around 1% or 3.5K, so a nominal 1K of profit per sale which allows businesses to cover their costs and grow.


  • Tony Sinclair

    So, I think you should get out of the extremely bad habit of overusing the word 'So' because it's So annoying not to mention bad grammar.
    So... The word 'So' is not used to start sentences.
    So... TV is full of this example and the masses who still speak proper English are getting a tad fed up.

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