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New Purplebricks board member is one of world’s top digital execs

Purplebricks has revealed that its new board member is one of the world’s leading digital executives. 

Dr Stephanie Caspar is the new representative of Axel Springer, the German publishing giant which is the largest investor in Purplebricks.

She is currently president of Axel Springer’s National News Media & Marketplaces division, with responsibility for company-wide technology and data strategy as well as Axel Springer's media brands in Germany - these include the leading newspaper, Bild - and she is responsible for the brands’ advertising sales, distribution and printing business. 


She also has assumed presidency at board level for the price comparison website idealo and the AVIV Group - the latter is one of the world's biggest digital classified players, combining Axel Springer's digital activities and participations in real estate, car and generalist classifieds. 

Caspar joined Axel Springer in 2013 and became a board member of the group in 2018. 

She began her career as a business consultant at McKinsey and prior to joining Axel Springer she worked as director of strategy at eBay, and founded digital retailer Mirapodo.

Caspar replaces Andreas Wiele joined the board in 2018 as the Axel Springer rep.

In 2018 Axel Springer pumped some £125m into Purplebricks, including a £100m subscription for new shares in order to accelerate the company’s roll-out in the US - an enterprise that quickly ended in failure.

It is widely expected that Purplebricks will reveal next week the result of an experiment with a number of different pricing strategies which began last year and continued into 2020 ahead of the pandemic.

The chosen option - which could in theory be 'no change' from its existing model - is expected to be revealed when the agency produces its interim results on August 3.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    All will know that since it's inception I have been an ardent critic of Purplebricks, mostly because it is a tech lite and real estate lite solution. A creature which has guzzled hundreds of millions.

    It by the start of 2020 had lost nearly 117M, had 363M flowing through it, and had cost 481M to run over the past five years, it had by that point raised 187M in different rounds to build the company, plus the extra 35M that it has just achieved from it's recent sale of the Canadian business, and it famously burnt through 90M of cash reserves between April 2018 to April 2019.

    So 152M in the kitty down to 63M the following year, and that cash at bank was down to around 31M this month, but the extra 35M from Canada is propping it up, to guzzle it's way through in the next two and a half years, maybe less.

    Putting cash and profitability aside - (there has never been a dividend), what the company has now got 100% right - is the appointment of Dr Stephanie Caspar to the board, with real estate in a state of flux, and the pandemic changing the way all verticals of business are conducted, there has never been a greater need for someone who can see what is going on, what the future holds and can de-risk the organization. Well done Purplebricks.

    For me real estate is now another data and technology industry, we at Proptech-PR know this as we see over 40 proptech companies a month, and if those in real estate want to be credible and survive, they need to ensure that in every boardroom, and in every c-suite, and in every real estate organization at least 25% of personnel who have digital credentials, visionaries, who have the skillset to understand that the consumer does business utilising data and technology. The old world built on paper and legacy systems has long gone.

    The appointment of a Digital asset to the board is in sharp contrast to the present rout that our own UK real estate finds itself in, with the present 'professional leadership vacuum at NAEA Propertymark who laud themselves as the ‘thoughtful, professional and regulatory arm’ of the real estate profession, for me they are doing a really good impression of a clown circus act.

    If ever there was a need to get the rank and file membership of estate agents to believe in the NAEA’s vision, it is now; the question is will they choose a 'dinosaur' or a 'digital' replacement for the CEO job. My worry is that a 'safe pair of hands' will belong to an aged relic, who has never heard of Gen-Z, the top customer of the next decade, does not see the shift in how they do things, has no clue about proptech, AI and the future, and will think giving out paper certificates of competency to eager faced estate agents, prepares the recipient in any way with the skills and mental mind set to trade efficiently into the 2030's.

    That is why Will Darbyshire and I set up Proptech-PR as the 'COUNTERCULTURE' to all of that old school, old boy, red tape network, based on legacy systems, closed and gated secret communities serving only to enhance the profit of the few - sacrificed on the altar of greed, stupidity and down right arrogance.

    Very soon we will be unveiling the Proptech-PR counterculture August manifesto, outlining the shiny new future being shaped by the bright and clever generation, who are redefining real estate, re-structuring it through mathematics, code and deep thinking, the last place you will find these people is in a wing back chair with a scotch and soda and an ironed copy of the FT.

    We are blessed to meet dozens of these ambassadors of the future, each month, shy and retiring, free thinking and almost half in the shadows, they will soon be vanguard of the system. Regulation and paper well, that is for committees and the government, and is grindingly slow, what we know is that within two years the real estate ecosystem will have some new guardians, agile of mind, and with limitless capabilities. If you want to know more let us have a conversation andrew.stanton@proptech-PR.com, 07535 029676.


    Blatant free advertising! Why not pay like many other companies?


    Thank you Andrew for your "comment". Such a sensationalist, desperate for self promotion and recognition. The irony is, your PR strategy littered all over comments on this site are incredibly 'dinosaur' themselves!

  • Carlo Rappa

    Now i understand why its tech sucks.

  • Hybrid Agent

    So many of these comments showing the continued mis-understanding of what "Hybrid" Estate Agency actually is... Read "No.1 B*stard Estate Agent (someone no longer in their original form) How to Evolve in Property Selling" its on Amazon..


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