Rumours mount that two big-name online agents have merged – but denials all round

Two of the bigger names in online agency are said to have merged – or are drawing up plans to do so.

EYE has been told that our sources are wrong and that no such deal is on the table.

There is no suggestion that Purplebricks, which dominates the industry, is involved. We believe other big names such as Yopa are also not involved. There is also no suggestion, for example, of easyProperty’s involvement.

However, we understand that the deal yesterday signifies the desire of at least one big backer in the online sector to try and get their money back – or at least stem their losses.

While EYE has been given details of the two we believe to be apparently involved, various parties have totally denied any deal.

For example, Tepilo said it knew nothing of any such deal, as did HouseSimple.

House Network also denied any knowledge.

We also tried to contact EstatesDirect, of which Poundland founder Steve Smith was a director, although he appears to have since resigned. EstatesDirect is however still very much operational, according to Companies House.

Russell Quirk, of eMoov, also totally denied being part of any deal. Last night, he said: “I have no interest in a merger, and we’re not for sale.”

One trustworthy industry source, however, was last evening adamant that there has been a deal resulting in a merger.

Another source told us: “Yes, two dead horses have come together. It may be a bigger horse, but that does not result in a live horse.

“However, it is part of the consolidation of the industry and we will doubtless see more of it.”

Backers of online agents have poured enormous amounts into the sector: they include Carphone warehouse founder Sir Charles Dunstone, who has backed HouseSimple to the tune of £15m;  and Toscafund, which backed easyProperty to the tune of £14m; while fund manager Neil Woodford is the biggest single shareholder in Purplebricks.

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21 Comments

  1. Chris Wood

    I thought grave robbing was illegal?

    https://gph.is/293u5et

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    1. Bless You

      Quirk.. def involved then. Lol.

      People can use online solicitors but they don’.

      Think the public know the only people benefiting from fake online industry are the founders. No one else .

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  2. LovePropertyBiz

    Haha, I LOVE the dead horse analogy!

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  3. J1

    Mr Miagi says

    “When two vehicles are involved in a head on collision they are usually both written off”

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  4. PeeBee

    “EstatesDirect is however still very much operational, according to Companies House.”

    Or maybe not – according to its’ own, dead-horse website, Rightmove and Zoopla…

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    1. Shaun77

      Really? That doesn’t make any sense. They had 100’s of local property experts and a low fee formula that was going to revolutionise the estate agency market and wow consumers who for years had despised fee grabbing estate agents and had been looking for the cheapest way to sell their most valuable asset.

      With a proposition like that, they must be cleaning up…

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      1. PeeBee

        “With a proposition like that, they must be cleaning up…”
        If you mean picking invisible specks of dust off an even more invisible spotlessly clean, non-existent nothing whatsoever – then that’s exactly what they appear to be doing.

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        1. PeeBee

          The estatesdirect.com website went t!ts-up somewhere between July 4 and September 12.
          It is now directing through to some strange German tradesperson auction site.
          If you can’t get a three bedroom semi-detached mansionette, at least they can find you a cheap pfasterleger

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          1. PeeBee

            You may remember that EYE covered the story that Mr Smith put his own property… ahem… on the market with his new toy –

            Ex-Poundland boss puts £6.5m home on sale through his online agency

            Well… the listing lasted a total of 583 days.  It eventually was archived – and as can be seen here –

            http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-32784099.html

            – the last published asking price was OiEo £5 milion.  It lasted fourteen months more with EstatesDirect.com than Mr Smith – whose Directorship ended (as stated above in the article) in April 2016.

            At the time of the article going to “press”, our dear Landlady, Frau Renshaw, mused

            “Smith reckons it will save him £115,212 in estate agent fees… It will be interesting to see if in future he should require the expertise of the likes of Knight Frank…”

            WELL… after what is now termed (in onlinie circles, at least) a “Marketing Break” of five months it was then remarketed with a High Street Agent for another eight months before moving to its’ current marketing outlet – no other than… Knight Frank, of course… who are currently advertising it for sale at the apparently knock-down figure of £3.95million, which equates to a reduction of almost 40% from the original price.

            As commented at the time by ‘London Agent’ –

            “he knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

            OUCH!
             
             

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            1. Chris Wood

              =D

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            2. PeeBee

              Perhaps Frau Renshaw would like to feature this as “Property of the Week”?

              Or, to be more factually correct, “Property of the Last THREE YEARS…”

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  5. paul-ch

    Estates Direct has gone the distance their website is down now!!!

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  6. Typhoon

    Dot.com bubble all over again.

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  7. Robert May

    There are no Americans in Baghdad

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    1. GeoW10

      And the property is in a hell of state!

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    2. g4lvo17

      but there is a Bagdad in America Robert, Bubba Watson was born there 🙂

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  8. CPestateagentesq

    http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/business/15286352.Worcester_based_firm_on_the_move_after_successful_merger/

     

    this is from May but says “This acquisition, taking place in the next few months, will see it merge with one of the groups’ existing companies, MakeUrMove, with aspirations to become the largest online letting agent in the country.”

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  9. GPL

    Ros? Is this a “Whodunnit”?

    It was Mr Plum… with a computer mouse… in the Library.

    ….or when you know who it is just tell us, because it’s Friday, we’re tired ….and I can’t see much from this grassy knoll apart from a large motorcade and someone sitting in the back of an open-top car with a big arrow pointing at them.

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  10. GeoW10

    Charming.….Absolutely Charming.  I only wish I had an appropriate Emoji !!

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  11. KByfield04

    Consolidation in the online sector- what all of us knew was coming it was just a matter of time. Intrigued to see who the final parties are (and whether they go on to merge/acquire other online platforms). For the rest of us it’s business as usual.

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    1. Chris Wood

      The zone between the excitement of a new product and actually making a profitable business out of it has a rather cruel but honest nomenclature “The Valley of Death” https://greatb2bmarketingcom.r.worldssl.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Valley-of-Death.jpg 
      Lots of bells, whistles, other peoples money, misleading claims and downright lies and the consumer now requires the evidence of success. It isn’t there. The 88%+ listing to success ratio statement is so much hot air. 

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