European house removals platform Movinga raises up to another €22M

Movinga, the European platform for house removals that was seemingly written off last year, continues to perform what appears to be an impressive turn around. The Berlin-headquartered startup has closed a new funding round of up to €22 million led by Santo Venture Capital, the venture arm of the Strüngmann family office, with participation from existing backers Earlybird Venture Capital and Rocket Internet.

In an unusual but welcome level of transparency for a privately owned company, Movinga is breaking out the investment. Santo Venture Capital’s backing is structured as two tranches and dependent on certain milestones being met: €9 million is being provided up front, with a further €9 million due in Spring 2018 if those milestones are reached, which, I understand, aren’t unrealistically onerous.

Earlybird and Rocket are investing €4.4 million in this round, and, once again, Movinga’s Series B backer Index Ventures is nowhere to be seen (and has presumably been further diluted).

Speaking earlier this week, Finn Age Hänsel, Managing Director of Movinga, told me that the new capital will be used for further growth and to achieve “operational break-even”. Specifically, the startup plans to invest more in its technology platform in order to automate more of the removals process, which at the moment includes things like being able to price a house move in real-time and dispatch work to its removal partners in the most efficient way.

In addition, Hänsel says that further European geographical expansion is on the cards. The company currently operates in Germany and France, focusing on intercity house moves, including aggregating removal jobs where appropriate in order to reduce costs and ensure vehicles don’t make return journeys empty handed unnecessarily. It claims to have facilitated over 30,000 moves since 2016 and says it is on track for annual revenues “significantly over 20 million Euros”.

Meanwhile, on the consumer front, Movinga is eyeing up additional services it can offer, such as changing your electricity provider or taking out a contract for home broadband. The company is also building out tools for its removals partners in a bid to digitise more of the removals process. This will include SaaS ERP software to simplify the management of “general planning processes” endured by removals companies.

Moving forward, Hänsel tells me that Movinga wants to expand into removals within the same city, which requires a different set of strengths, and is an area where the company doesn’t really compete at the moment. Another sector he thinks has future potential is “on-demand” removals, such as wanting to move a couch you have just purchased or sold on eBay, and would operate more along the lines of Uber for removals.