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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

A new portal? Purplebricks founder launches project with ex-Reapit boss

The founder of Purplebricks, Michael Bruce, has this morning revealed his new project to be called Launch B - and he has appointed a senior PropTech figure to oversee its arrival.

A 300-word statement released this morning names Reapit chief executive Gary Barker as chief executive of Launch B. However, the statement itself gives almost no detail of Launch B itself.

Industry speculation over recent months has suggested that this might be a new portal - “a sort of Rightmove with more functionality and lower fees” EAT has been told by a colleague close to Michael Bruce. However, there has been no confirmation of this.

Launch B’s website gives some details of what it might be - and it plays heavily on its founder being a key figure in Purplebricks.

The new website says: “LaunchB is an extremely well placed and fully funded start-up from a Founder of Purplebricks, the fastest growing and most disruptive PropTech start up in UK history (having reached a market cap in excess of £1.2 billion within four years and revenues of over £100m).”

It goes on to give a hint of what LaunchB might involve, saying: “Utilising cutting-edge technologies, Machine Learning and data science to build a new, disruptive and innovative product offering with a highly engaging advertising campaign / marketing strategy to grow and develop the brand. We have a heavy focus on leveraging data and feedback loops to inform and support decision making, taking an iterative approach; designing, building and trialling concepts to test assumptions and provide validated learning. We are building a team of motivated Engineers who share a growth mindset and an eagerness to learn."

Much of the rest of the Launch B website is given to recruitment advertising for the new project, which will be based in central Birmingham. 

In this morning’s statement welcoming Gary Barker away from Reapit and to Launch B, Michael Bruce says: “I am delighted to welcome Gary to the business and thrilled that he will be overseeing its launch. He has a fantastic track record in the industry and is greatly admired for the work he has done at The Reapit Group, providing solutions to help agents advance and grow their business. 

“Our mission will help agents to determine and shape the future and put them at the forefront of innovation whilst materially advancing the experience for everyone looking to buy, sell or let property. I welcome a great leader and an enormous talent”.

Barker has been a member of the Reapit management team for 13 years, and remains a shareholder. His previous experience includes an IT role at Countrywide.

“I am delighted that I will be joining a very exciting new business, which will bring huge benefits and rewards to agents, and a much more engaging experience for them and consumers than anything that has ever been available before” says Barker.   

“We will be opening up the market more widely and giving everyone access to technology that makes interesting things happen and should bring the market alive.   

“Launch B have attracted world class talent and done a fantastic job of creating and building a unique business, a compelling model and an impressive brand building marketing strategy … I am looking forward to sharing our vision, and more details of the new brand, in due course”.

Reapit has in turn announced that industry veteran and non-executive board member Adrian Gill is to oversee the company’s day-to-day operations.

Gill has spent the last 20 years in property services with a decade at Connells before becoming chief executive of LSL estate agencies. After leaving LSL, he became group chief executive at Leaders Romans, the private equity-owned 150-branch estate agency. Gill has served on Reapit’s board of directors since 2019.

You can see the Launch B website here.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Barker is an impressive capture from Reapit, and I can't think he would have jumped ship without seeing something in this new venture, but all sounds incredibly vague and non-committal. Could be another example of deep pockets and shedloads of publicity and PR, without any actual substance, which has always been the criticism of PB.

    I very much doubt there is the need for another portal, especially with Homesearch recently joining the party and going down largely well with agents. Not sure what LaunchB - a very vague, odd name, too - will bring that is fresh.

  • Simon Shinerock

    Well, interestingly, a lot of agents are now electing to ‘Launch’ rather than merely ‘list’ property and conventional portal advertising is more and more seen as phase 2 marketing and done badly a countdown to failure. Could be coincidence but possibly not, perhaps this new portal aims to support agents in creating a hyper local agent focussed service. I guess we will soon see but something tells me that pretty soon good agents will have all the components needed to do this themselves

    adrian black

    The tools are already available to do this. We have a combination of proprietary and third party tech and deliver exactly this platform in London through YOUhome Property Gurus and platformyou.com and out of London in Bournemouth we are piloting through MUVA and myMUVA.com. We can easily scale by town with operating partners and happy to talk to potential partners.

     
  • Mark Walmsley

    Unless there is real uniqueness, “LaunchB” sounds a little too much like “PlanB”. If the past shows us anything it’s that the biggest marketing budget (Rightmove 4 portals, Purple Bricks 4 agents) has brought success whether deserved or not. We will soon have 6-8 portals operating within the same (albeit more technical & agent supportive) Market place as one another.

  • icon

    Who is David John Shepherd, sole director of PD Innovations Limited which was incorporated just over a year ago?

    'We have a heavy focus on leveraging data', we've heard this before.

    'Our market is valued in excess of £8bn', the same size as the UK portal market.

    37 staff on LinkedIn already, when do the ads for salespeople start?

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    If you want to know what is going on in the real estate /proptech space, contact Proptech-PR.com or call me on 07535 029676 - you will be amazed at what we know, what we are helping to build, the trends and the insights.

  • icon

    Knowing the history of this lot, i want nothing to do with them or those joining them. Those joining, can smell the £££ and can't stop themselves. i hope it all ends in tears. More likely it will for the public and us.

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