Axel Springer Invests in Another Agency Disruptor

April 6, 2021
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German publishing giant and classifieds operator Axel Springer has invested in another company whose model is intended to disrupt that of the traditional estate agency. Having already invested in the likes of British online agent Purple Bricks as well as German hybrid brokerage Homeday and US end-to-end rentals marketplace Zumper, the company has now announced an investment in London-based proptech brokerage Nested.

Having already raised some £120m in debt and equity financing back in 2018, the latest round was reported to be worth £5m and was participated in by existing investors Balderton and Northzone Capital as well as by Axel Springer via its classifieds spin-off Aviv Group. The round will see the owner and operator of classifieds titles such as Immowelt and SeLoger installed to the Nested board for the next stage of the hybrid agency's growth.

Founded in 2016, Nested differentiates itself from other estate agents by providing home sellers with both a selling and a buying agent as well as by putting up a cash advance on the new property and thereby allowing prospective buyers to give all-cash offers. Currently only available in London, Nested CEO Matt Robinson has plans to expand to 30 new areas in the next 18 months.

Speaking of his company's new investment, Axel Springer's Dr Marc Rustige said:

“We are firm believers in the opportunity to modernise and digitise estate agency services. From our global market scan we could see that Nested were building out a powerful offering that combines a superb experience for home sellers and buyers. We are already seeing the success of their approach with strong growth in local market share across London.”

The latest investment from Aviv Group's ventures division shows that the company will continue to be one of very few classifieds firms bold enough to invest in companies with models that actively seek to disrupt its nominal agency customer base.

April 6, 2021
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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