24/7 estate agency Purplebricks.com raises £7m from Neil Woodford CBE

Backing from high-profile fund manager set to ramp up UK growth plans

The UK’s “first” 24/7 lettings agency Purplebricks.com, featured in Startups’ Just Started in May, has secured £7m in a round led by high-profile British fund manager Neil Woodford CBE of Woodford Investment Management.

Existing investors DN Capital, Paul Pindar, and Martin Bolland, also contributed over £1m to the round.

Launched in April this year by brothers Michael Bruce (pictured) and Kenny Bruce, PurpleBricks.com is an online platform which looks to combine the expertise of local property agents at a “fraction of the cost” charged by high street estate agents.

Its “around the clock” offering allows customers to receive a comprehensive written description, floor plans, professional photographs and a listing on all major property portals including Rightmove, Zoopla, and Prime Location, for a fixed VAT inclusive fee of £599.

Woodford’s stake, the largest investment from the £2.4bn Woodford Equity Income Fund to date, will support the property platform’s launch across Central England following its successful roll-out in South England.

Purplebricks.com CEO, Bruce, commented: “Neil Woodford’s investment […] represents a huge milestone for us and a major turning point for customers looking to sell, buy or let their property in the UK. Woodford recognises the need for change and believes that our unique model and revolutionary platform are the future.

“Building on this initial success we will continue to challenge the traditional estate agency model that has been left untouched for too long.”

Discussing his decision to invest, Neil Woodford, said:

“Purplebricks represents a highly disruptive business model in the world of estate agency. The business has the vision, the technology and an experienced management team ­– and now with the funding that it now has at its disposal, I see a significant opportunity for the business to lead the market in changing the way we buy and sell houses in the UK.

“Given that the vast majority of property searches take place on the internet, a business that provides a ‘virtual’ offering without expensive high street offices can significantly undercut the current market.”

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