Channel 4 Ventures is one of a number of investors who have collectively put the equivalent of £11m into the online estate agency Strike, it’s been announced.
Strike says the deal will allow it to increase brand awareness through Channel 4 Ventures’ investment in a media-for-equity deal. This is where the broadcaster provides airtime to a company in return for an equity stake in the business.
Another major backer is Sir Peter Wood, founder of the technology-based insurance firm Direct Line and esure, and a founder investor in comparison insurance service GoCompare: his stake in Strike has been made through the investment vehicle SPWOne.
Other investment in this latest injection of funding comes from existing investors Freston Ventures and Toscafund.
Strike is the evolution of Housesimple following a rebrand last year; it's sold over £4.5 billion since launching under its original name, and claims to have helped over 45,000 people move home.
Today's announcement from Strike says: "The investment highlights an opportunity for Strike to scale up its digital-first approach to drive its growing market share which has already seen a dramatic jump over the past 12 months. Strike has its sights set on becoming the largest UK estate agency brand next year, surpassing both traditional and online counterparts. It is already one of the leading agents across the North of England and last week expanded its sell for free service to the Midlands and parts of Central England."
Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer at Strike, says: “We set out to shake up the estate agency industry when we first launched our sell for free service in 2019, and now we’re focused on expanding our digital-first offering through strategic investment and innovation. It has been a year like no other for the housing market, but we’ve managed to succeed against the odds. Having the likes of Channel 4 and Sir Peter Wood on board will allow us to continue turning the industry on its head.”
Sir Peter Wood, chairman of SPWOne adds: “Strike’s clarity of proposition and innovation captured our attention. The business’s approach to moving home, supporting customers at each and every stage of their transaction and experience, resonated with us and we believe the concept has considerable potential. I am pleased to be part of the Strike journey and look forward to supporting the business as it develops.”
And a statement from Vinay Solanki, head of Channel 4 Ventures, says: “Strike’s disruptive ambition to redefine the way people move homes resonates with our own challenger brand values and sits well within Channel 4 Venture’s growing investment portfolio, which we’re focused on scaling as part of our Future4 strategy to diversify new revenue streams. We’re looking forward to seeing the growth of such a forward-thinking business with the help of Channel 4’s powerful marketing platform to elevate the awareness of this exciting new brand.”