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OnTheMarket can still meet original aims of founders - claim

OnTheMarket (OTM) can still pursue its original aims of challenging the duopoly in the property portal market, its chief executive Jason Tebb has claimed.

Tebb suggested the takeover of OTM by US-owned CoStar was good for agents as it gives the brand more power to challenge Rightmove.

He wrote in a LinkedIn post after the takeover completed yesterday, “We were founded by agents as a competitive response to the negative effects of a duopolistic market and ten years on from OnTheMarket’s inception, agents continue to be passionate about the need for real competition. 


“But now we have the potential to be much more than ‘competition’. Collectively, we are in the best position to now invest heavily and challenge our competitors.”

Tebb added that as an agent of 20 years, he believes the collaboration between OnTheMarket and CoStar will enable it to deliver on the original aims.

He said: "This new dawn for our business will continue to honour the legacy of OnTheMarket and its core ethos, while propelling it to new heights. We are driven by a shared vision of greatness, fuelled by the relentless pursuit of progress, and inspired by the extraordinary possibilities that lie ahead, to the benefit of our customers.

"CoStar will bring industry-leading global expertise and significant financial firepower to invest in OnTheMarket, allowing us to accelerate our plans. Our shared values and commitment to our customers will provide agents unparalleled value and greater opportunities to enhance their businesses. 

"The acquisition is not merely a business transaction; it’s a pledge to do something truly transformational in the sector. It signifies our commitment to making a positive impact on the industry as a whole.

"We have built the foundations to become the number one property search site in the UK and now with CoStar’s technology, expertise and capital, this deal allows us to turbo charge our strategy and for the first time in our history, go head-to-head with the market leaders. I am truly excited by what we can achieve together. With the support of our agents, we will change the portal landscape, forever. The most exciting part of the journey is yet to come.

"Now is our time."

It comes as the OTM board was overhauled yesterday after CoStar’s acquisition of the portal completed.

Senior staff including Tebb as well as chief commercial officer Helen Whiteley and chief financial officer Tom Carter resigned as directors and stepped down from the board but will remain with the business.

Board members Christopher Bell, Ian Francis and Rupert Sebag-Montefiore all tendered their resignations and have left the company. 

Meanwhile senior CoStar staff members Scott Wheeler, Catherine Bland, Matthew Green and Robin Rossmann have filled the OTM board positions as new directors of the company.

CoStar founder and chief executive Andy Florance said the deal provides the opportunity to combine a "leading UK agent friendly site with our technology, expertise, and capital to raise the game for online home shopping in the UK."

He added: "The current market leader has grown complacent focusing on margin over innovation, and pricing ahead of value. The level of shareholder support we received is a major endorsement of our plans to invest in OnTheMarket.

“CoStar Group has been transforming the world’s real estate through digitization for over three decades.  We are relentlessly focused on empowering our customers, delivering this through strong growth in our portals, as well as our data & information businesses.

"As we digitise the sector and continue to enhance the experience of all those we work with, we are also focused on our investments into Europe, a market that is moving very quickly.   Our OnTheMarket acquisition sits firmly within this strategy, and we will bring all our experience to bear as we take OnTheMarket to new levels of success while keeping costs to advertisers at a sustainable level.” 

Shareholders backed CoStar’s £100m takeover last week and OTM was delisted yesterday.

US-owned CoStar has vowed to “aggressively” build the business and grow its market share.


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