Estate Agents Emoov and Tepilo have undergone a £100m merger, also incorporating Urban.co.uk, an online lettings agency.
Together, the three brands have attracted over 60,000 customers to their value proposition to date.
The merged business will be headed by Emoov chief executive Russell Quirk and led by a strategic and experienced management team of chief financial officer Frank McGlade, formerly of Just Eat and Deutsche, and chief marketing officer Lucy Milne, who was previously at Just Eat and EE.
Other leaders include: chief operating officer Guy Halfhead, former chief operating officer of Bookatable.com and chief technology officer and co-founder Ivan Ramirez, former global vice president of product at Groupon.com, plus Adam Male of Urban as director of lettings.
Quirk said: “This is a pivotal move in the fast-growing digital sales and lettings sector and is designed to place us as one of the absolute winners in the space.
“We’ve joined together two of the best known fixed fee estate agency businesses to make the ‘Number Two’ contender; along with one of the UK’s most established online lettings companies, and a war-chest of £15m in new cash and media power.
“Strategically, this is a powerful combination and with the very best senior team to deliver on our plan to improve and further dominate the estate agency industry.”
The newly-enlarged business has secured a total of £15m in ‘new money’ – from existing and new shareholders, airtime-for-equity investment from Channel 4. Also there’s investment from Northern & Shell, Tepilo’s largest shareholder, via Sky, putting the combined business on track for strong growth this year and beyond.
Channel 4’s investment, from its commercial growth fund, will provide Emoov with Channel 4 airtime to drive growth through a major TV advertising campaign. This adds to Tepilo’s existing relationships with Northern & Shell’s extensive advertising inventory via Sky, Channel 5, Express and Mirror newspapers.
Richard Martin, Northern & Shell’s commercial director, said: “Tepilo was one of the first businesses we worked with as part of our media for equity initiative and we are delighted that Tepilo, along with Urban, is now part of Emoov.
“Together, they represent an exciting and competitive business with the critical mass and management team to become a major force in online estate agency and lettings.”
Sarah Beeny, founder of Tepilo, added: “I founded Tepilo in 2009 with the intention of putting the customer at the centre of their own property transactions.
“This deal creates a truly powerful partnership of property experts that are focussed on doing right by the customer and improving the home buying, selling and rental process for all.
“I’m truly delighted with the combination of the Emoov, Tepilo and Urban families to form such a valuable proposition.”
Adam Male, Founder of Urban.co.uk, said: “Being part of a much larger group of property specialists with significant resources to deploy for growth, is truly exciting. I’m proud to be joining the senior team at Emoov to advance our progress as the go-to player in better value home sales and rentals.”
Vinay Solanki, head of Channel 4’s commercial growth fund, said: “This is an exciting time for Emoov and presents a great opportunity for Channel 4 to get involved with disrupting a fast-moving and competitive sector in digital transition.
“We’re looking forward to working with Emoov on their first TV campaign as a newly merged major industry player to help the brand achieve the reach and awareness that only TV advertising has proven to effectively deliver at scale.”