UK online property startup Opun, which raised £3 million Series A funding from Aviva Ventures in April, tells Property Portal Watch the capital is being used to remove the worries consumers face when improving their home.
Head of Marketing Ben Ridgway says the company is currently investing in building a great team of ‘Home Improvement Personal Asistants’ (HIPAs) based out of Opun’s new Stoke office in the UK region of North Staffordshire.
“We have more Trade Partner Advisors to help on the supply side and we’re investing heavily in our technology platform to give consumers a great and seamless experience with Opun,” Ridgway says.
Opun, which was founded by entrepreneurs Rod Brown and John Cushing in 2015, helps homeowners find local contractors to repair their homes.
It acts like a broker by putting renters or landlords in touch with craftsmen in their area and helping them to negotiate the best price.
While Trade Partners aren’t charged to join the platform or receive its services, Ridgway says a small commission is added on the consumer side which ensures the quality of work and that they are covered under Opun’s 5 year warranty, which applies to all home improvement jobs, large or small.
He says the company’s conversion rates from unique visitor to booked calls have been increasing every month since January.
“We continue to A/B test to understand the kinds of messaging, images and user experience our consumers respond best to,” Ridgway says.
“We aim to provide a frictionless journey to ensure consumers can book exactly what they want, when they want and where they want.”
As a UK-focused business serving a large and fragmented market “with a unique proposition” Ridgway adds Opun foresees no diminution in demand as a result of the Brexit referendum but continues to monitor the situation like other businesses.
And as the company is growing rapidly, he says Opun will inevitably need more funding in accordance with the timescale agreed at its Series A.
“We’re extremely proud to be working with Aviva and laying the foundations of our stable technology. We’re also proud to work with the best Trade Partners in the business to ensure consumers aren’t getting ripped off or receiving shoddy workmanship.”
Of the future Ridgway says Opun plans to cover the whole of the UK and introduce more benefits to consumers and trade partners alike to ensure both their lives are made easy when it comes to home improvements.
“Opun is home improvements without the worries and we will deliver on that on every single job over the coming 12-18 months,” Ridgway says.
Back in April at the time of its Series A, Opun founder Cushing said people are tired of receiving conflicting quotes for the same work and then having to settle for substandard quality.
“The customer-contractor relationship in the UK is in desperate need of repair and it’s our aim to do just that. We give customers unparalleled support at every stage, thereby empowering them to make informed decisions on their home improvement.”