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Channel 4 and finance chief sink millions into online agency

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.”

  • Proper Estate Agent

    "Channel 4 and finance chief *waste* millions into online agency " in get rich quick scheme believing like that you chuck a house on rightmove, it sells itself and you buy a lambo or two.

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    Wealthy people who think they know agency simply don't. Didn't the CEO of Foxtons get shoved along this week after 9 months?

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    Channel 4 hmmmmm, we've got a bit of spare cash, lets have a punt and annoy Estate Agents.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Here is what I know - and J Blackmore you are 100% correct. Strike has been around since 2007 it was formerley Housesimple. So in 14 years they have 'helped' 45,000 people to move. Not sure if 45,000 people means 45,000 completed sales, let us assume it is.

    So in 14 years 1.2M completions in UK a year, or 16.8 M completions in total, and Strike has 45,000 of them. This business is not a business. The only disruption is to investors bank balances.

    The figures do not add up, it equates to a tiny 3,214 completed sales a year for 14 years, as the business model.

    A single small one branch agency will complete on 140 sales a year, so Strike at a hit rate of 3,214 completions a year is like an agency with only 25 traditional branches. Hardly a national brand.

    Then look at the amount of cash it has already burnt.

    Put it this way, if a traditional agency model is adopted - give me 165k seed capital, and I will cold start a branch, and in 24 months I will give you 165K back and be at break even with that brand new agency branch. Year three I will make 80k profit, year four 125k profit year five 250k profit. Profit not revenue.

    So with 11M in my hot little hand tomorrow that could be 66 cold start new agencies in the UK, looking to repay the start up capital in FULL in 24 months and make PROFIT in year three, with this online model - in three years that 11M will go the way of Emoov, Hatched, Doorsteps et al. My advice put the money on red and walk away from the roulette table and hope you get lucky.

    Also Strike is based on a Freemium model - with revenue from mortgage referrals - which is very much under the microscope and may be cut off as a revenue stream.

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    They say we're young and we don't know
    Won't find out till we grow
    Well I don't know why that's true
    'Cause you got me baby, I got you
    B@be, I got you b@be, I got you, b@be

    How did that work out for you Mr Desmond?

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    @= EAT has a Mary Whitehouse filter that dislikes the swearword "B@be" seriously


    someone would be offended LOL

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    Rugby players don't like being called b@be.:):)

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    Set out to disrupt. Failed there then.


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