Date Published 16 January 2013
Property Place, the Facebook-based property search engine, has secured a seven figure investment from three funds – and says it is in a position to take on Rightmove.
The venture, launched a year ago and which allows users to search for and share details of properties for sale and rent, is also to rebrand as Property Network.
It is run by entrepreneur Sohail Rashid, who says it has more than 900,000 properties registered, making it the third largest property inventory in the UK. Rashid says it supports 8,000 agents across the UK.
He says he will use the investment for a nationwide marketing campaign to build brand awareness designed to recruit 1m registered users and to expand the listing to 1.2m properties over the next six months.
Rashid said the service is set to be a ‘Rightmove killer'.
He said: `Property Network is set to shake up a market that is crying out for change. We are the property network for the social media generation and this will enable us to challenge Rightmove's dominant position, which is unhealthy for the industry.
`In 2012 we proved that our service has the right mix of user-friendly functionality and commercial appeal for agents.`
The venture had already received investment from Finance Yorkshire via its Seedcorn Fund, and from Dean Fielding, former group finance director of LSL.
The latest round of investment has been led by a venture capital company, Now Ingenious Ventures, while there is to be follow-on investment from Finance Yorkshire's Equity and Seedcorn funds.
Patrick Bradley, chief executive of Ingenious, said: `Property Network is the ideal solution for today's property market.
`Social media plays an important part in most people's lives and this underpins the company's huge growth potential. The property sector is ripe for technology-driven change and Property Network is the company to do it.`
The latest funding deal was facilitated by 3volution LLP, a commercial law firm based in Leeds and a specialist in acting for fast growth companies raising venture capital funding.
Partner Jonathan Priestley said: `This was a really exciting and innovative deal to work on. We felt from the start that Property Network had a creative proposition and was poised for rapid expansion, if the right funding partners were found.`