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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

High profile online agency founder splits from company

One of the highest profile supporters of the online estate agency concept has quit the company he founded.

Akshay Ruparelia, who is still in his early twenties, founded Doorsteps in 2016 when he was 17: he quit at the end of April this year but has only just announced his departure to the public.

“My fellow director and I do not share the same strategic vision for the company’s growth, and I have therefore taken the decision to move onto new ventures. The remaining director will be moving the business forward as they see fit” he says this morning.

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Ruparelia deferred entry to university to pursue his business. Having raised over £1m in equity finance in 2017, he scaled his team to over 50 members. To date, the business has sold over £1bn worth of property.

His announcement this morning says: “When Doorsteps started in 2016, when I was 17, my mission was to positively disrupt an antiquated sector with a new type of estate agency – one that utilized technology to save customers time and money.

“Through the hard work and dedication of my entire team, the company has been one of the fastest growing estate agencies in the UK. Today the company employs over 50 brilliant staff, has sold over £1bn worth of properties, saved customers over £11m in fees, hit over £2m in sales and become profitable.

“I feel so honoured to have gained this experience at such a young age; to have built a business with real social benefit, and to have shared the journey with the Doorsteps family and customers along the way.

“It is however time for a change. My fellow director and I do not share the same strategic vision for the company’s growth, and I have therefore taken the decision to move onto new ventures. The remaining director will be moving the business forward as they see fit.

“I am deeply motivated and passionate about the projects I will be moving onto, starting with AKR Growth Ventures. The purpose and mission of AKR Growth Ventures is to change lives by helping young founders, startups and charities disrupt out-of-date and out-of-touch business practices – through technology, organisational culture and exceptional performance.

“I shall be releasing a further statement in the coming weeks as I consider the other exciting challenges and opportunities that I have had time to explore since leaving Doorsteps.

“Although my journey at Doorsteps has come to an end, the company will always be in my heart, and I maintain an absolute belief – as I did when I was 17 – that the future for estate agents is in a technology-based, people-focussed model.

“I would like to wholeheartedly thank the staff, investors and partners that have joined me on this journey, and I wish the remaining director the best of luck with their future ambitions.”

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    Newsflash?

  • Algarve  Investor

    Interesting. His founding story was impressive and inspiring, given he was so young, but some of the claims were certainly overly bullish, bordering on the antagonistic.

    I would also maybe question the £1 billion figure. That would be £250 million worth of property sold each year - can that really be true? Possibly it is, but sounds a little high.

    Interesting to see there are creative differences at the top and best of luck to him in his future path.

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Have a look at Upside Capital Financial Ltd - on companies house - that might answer some of your questions Algarve Investor. And peer to peer lending - an easy way to get a carpet bag of money - not so easy when no investors get no return, and everyone leaves.

    I do think that the regulators should end the practice of any company saying it has a market capitalisation of £10M - Which is a figure made up by Founders seeking cash investment on the unregulated market of peer to peer lenders - a figure investors rely upon when paying in their cash. After all they are often pre-revenue and pre customer.

    Like Doorsteps original elevator pitch to investors - 'by 2020, 50% of properties will be marketed by online agents'. Here have 5% of this great new enterprise you will be rich- it will only cost you Mr Investor and your 356 friends £1,400 each to buy in collectively for £500,000.

    Then the investor wakes up and realise that the share of the 5% share has no value, as it is not a listed company, and you will not be able to sell your £1,400 fractional 'share' - then the Founder resigns and you say - where is my investment? No doubt perhaps AKR growth investments will be growing the dreams of some new investors.

    As to the P&L of Doorsteps, built on the fiction of completing a sale for £99, has anyone seen the latest figures? I would be very happy to know if they have ever made a penny profit. Don't tell me next year. Why do companies confuse revenue with profit. Revenue vanity - Profit sanity.

  • edward apostolides

    I cannot believe that or maybe I can looking at other 'news' articles here, that is even considered news and I agree with Andrew Stanton it's in a nutshell a legalised scam. As soon as any idiot mentions selling a house for (I mean actually selling by way of exchanging contracts with a buyer) for less than a £1000 let alone £99 your throwing your investment in the bin. Absoloutely silly.

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