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Has Emoov collapse deterred backers of another online sales site?

A bid by online property platform TheHouseShop to raise £500,000 investment via crowdfunding appears to be flatlining.

TheHouseShop - until 2015 known as The Little House Company - allows individuals to list properties for sale and to let, alongside agents and developers. In 2016 it also took over the Accessible Property Register, a website specialising in promoting wheelchair-accessible homes.

Now it is crowdfunding for additional money, seeking another £500,000 on the Crowdcube website. Its pitch values itself, before any new fund raising, at £10m.

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Before the crowdfunding was opened to the public at the end of November, some £254,450 of the £500,000 target was raised via pre-selected investors. 

As of yesterday evening, well over three weeks later, the total had risen to only around £274,000 - so scarcely £20,000 has been added since late November.

Although TheHouseShop is wholly unrelated to the collapsed online estate agency Emoov, the former’s crowdfunding struggle follows the huge public spotlight put on crowdfunding as a result of Emoov.

Crowdcube has received dozens of formal complaints as a result of the collapse of Emoov, which raised almost £2m via Crowdcube just a few months before it hit financial trouble. 

EAT revealed earlier this month that Emoov revised its own company valuation from £104m to £51.8m at the end of its most recent crowdfunding exercise on Crowdcube. This was a legal tactic, undertaken within the cooling-off period when investors can review their investment and change their mind if they wish. 

However, the tactic attracted negative mainstream press headlines too. 

TheHouseShop’s fundraising bid has six days remaining.

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