Hot on the heals of the announcement of the GBP 200 million AIM listing of PurpleBricks, easyProperty has raised GBP 25 million. The capital raise was conducted by Chrystal Capital Partners LLP and was oversubscribed.
easyProperty is a low cost, fully scaled, nationally branded online estate agency that is disrupting the traditional estate agency and property services marketplace, worth c.£10bn pa in the UK alone. Following the two previous oversubscribed fundraising rounds, in February 2014 for £4.5m and September 2014 for £9.75m, Chrystal Capital has raised a further £16m through an oversubscribed pre-IPO private placement of shares, with a further £9m committed for accretive acquisition opportunities. Toscafund Asset Management corner-stoned this financing and has a successful, proven track record of investing early into disruptive e-commerce technology companies such as Direct Line and Esure (which now have a combined market capitalisation in excess of £6.6bn).
The proceeds of the fundraise will allow easyProperty to continue to capture market share in the rapidly growing online estate agency marketplace, accelerate the platform’s technology development and deepen the breath of its property related services. £9m has also been earmarked for strategic digital acquisitions in complementary digital property verticals.
This easyProperty fundraise marks the 36th transaction completed by Chrystal Capital over the past 6 years, taking the total funds raised for corporate clients to more than $670m. It is the team’s 24th private deal in the same period, a reflection of both investor demand, particularly amongst Family Offices, and Chrystal’s growing reputation within this niche space of pre-IPO financing. It also demonstrates Chrystal Capital’s ability to work alongside disruptive private companies through the growth cycle, advising them through initial development and into full commercialisation.
Robert Ellice, CEO of easyProperty, commented: “Chrystal Capital have consistently delivered oversubscribed rounds of funding which has allowed us to ensure easyProperty continues to grow month on month and increase our market share. The oversubscription in each round is a strong reflection of the strength of the disruptive nature of the easyProperty business model. This new investment of £25m gives us a significant opportunity to expand our UK sales and lettings offering organically, as well as make strategic bolt on acquisitions in complementary verticals.”
Kingsley Wilson, Partner at Chrystal Capital, stated: “We have now successfully led three oversubscribed financing rounds for easyProperty, raising almost £40m for the business over the past 18 months. In addition to welcoming aboard a major new investor in Toscafund Asset Management, we were pleased to see so many of our existing family office investors participate in the round, many for a third time, highlighting the importance of Family Office capital for private financings.”
Martin Hughes, Founder of Toscafund Asset Management, commented: “We are highly selective in our private investments, looking for proven management teams with a disruptive model and the ability to dominate their sectors to become highly valuable businesses. We look forward to working with easyProperty to realise its significant market opportunity and drive substantial shareholder value.”