Real estate startup Zoopla has raised a further £3.25 million in funding, consisting of £1.75 million of new equity finance from existing shareholders, led by venture capital firms Atlas Venture and Octopus, together with a £1.5 million debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank. This latest round of funding will be used to invest further in marketing.
This is on top of a £3.75 million raise back in January 2009.
So far Zoopla has used it’s funding to acquire a litany of ailing competitors including OnOneMap.com, DotHomes.com, Extate.com and the PropertyFinder Group. Gunning to become to become one of the UK’s top property websites, it’s now on 5 million visitors per month.
A national TV advertising campaign will kick off again in January.
It’s innovated far better than the main player Right Move, producing an augmented reality app.
Zoopla has a lot of clever features including one where you can ‘claim your own house’ and start extolling its features, and a feature called ‘tempt me’ where potential sellers can be lured into the market for the right price – something that might well appeal to credit-crunched consumers. It is also out to disrupt older property sites: you can list your home for sale through an agent. It also targets agents themselves in an attempt to lure them from aggregators like RightMove.
Alex Chesterman is Zoopla’s founder and CEO, and previously co-founded ScreenSelect.co.uk (now LOVEFiLM.com). Other backers of Zoopla include Nauiokas Park LLP as well as angel investors Sherry Coutu (who founded Interactive Investor), Robin Klein of the Accelerator Group, Simon Murdoch, Andy Phillipps and William Reeve.