Movebubble: Logan Hall
Logan Hall shares his peer-to-peer property marketplace and explains the importance of having a well-thought out business proposition
Name: Logan Hall
Company Name: Movebubble
Staff numbers: 6
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 13/03/2014
Tell us what your business does:
Movebubble is a customer collaborative platform bringing together property owners, renters and contractors; enabling people to move, manage and maintain their homes from anywhere in the world and on any device.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Aidan Rushby (CEO) was working at the sharp end of the lettings industry, and could see that there was a better way of achieving the same outcome but utilising technology. Aidan began the journey by focussing on the main functional aspects of the business, including the rental agreement and the complex transactional processes with the beginnings of the marketplace being mapped out.
Tony Edwards (CRO) was an associate of Aidan’s and assisted in highlighting the legal implications and fundraising whilst making some important introductions.
He also met me, Logan Hall, (CMO) on our shared MBA course. I had solid experience in start-ups, business management, marketing and social media. As CMO I take ownership of the customer engagement and community development.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The current property rental marketplace is fragmented, with varying levels of service and cost around the world. The process of agreeing a tenancy or lease is slow, expensive and fraught with uncertainty for both owners and renters.
A mixture of on and offline incumbents offer both parties complex methods for finding quality renters and properties alike, and communication is often slow and via a multitude of mediums. This offers little consistency, with disagreements and disputes being rife.
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There is no global service that offers a fully integrated solution for searching and advertising of properties, scheduling of viewings, online signing of relevant lease documents and an ongoing marketplace for home management and maintenance.
The market is opaque, with brokers and agents working hard to maintain the status quo, neither would want communication between parties directly nor a technical solution that would make customers’ lives easier as it would eradicate the need for their services.
What were you doing before starting up?
Aidan Rushby was group head of marketing for a large estate and lettings agency, and therefore has vast experience in the real estate and private rental market. Aidan was responsible for a vast amount of the business development and setting up of new branches here, and was one of the youngest and most successful employees.
I was working as a business consultant for a heating, home energy management and wireless control technology business. I was responsible for regional sales development, marketing strategy development and implementation.
Tony Edwards was working as a chairman for a large London-based asset management PLC and has vast business strategy, relationship management and fundraising experience.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Aidan Rushby has undertaken both BA and Masters in business administration (MBA). Always keen to disrupt and challenge the status quo I think it was only natural that he ended up running his own business.
I previously founded and worked as CEO for a globally distributed apparel brand, and have worked in and around disruptive business models since. It was only a matter of time before I co-founded another business.
Tony Edwards has a long history of high level strategic business, and has always craved for a nimble fast disruptive business to co-found and lend his considerable experience too.
How did you raise the money?
With a lot of energy and commitment to the cause.
We attacked the fund raising period with a well thought out business proposition. Having worked closely with financial and legal services to ensure that the value proposition was as good as it could be, and the risk was reduced as much as possible, we presented to private equity investors around the UK over a period of two-three weeks.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
There are obvious challenges such as raising finance but that was overcome with a solid understanding of the customer and their needs, and a thorough breakdown of the value proposition.
Another challenge is finding and building the right team, which is paramount to the success of any business. Here at Movebubble we only want A+ players, and therefore recruitment is very important. Team members have to fit culturally as well as being able to perform the job.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Movebubble will create revenue by charging renters a contribution at the end of the negotiation process of £50/$60. The service platform is completely free for the owner. Other revenues streams are created via the online marketplace that target owners and renters with added value services such as energy, maintenance, media, insurance, inventory and deposit management.
Once customers register they are provided with a user account and profile until they delete it. Every aspect of the individual’s property portfolio, lease agreements and utility provision will be controlled within Movebubble, increasing customer lifetime value.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Although some of these are confidential as they are not yet fully implemented I can say that getting the first commitment to investment at a particular valuation is incredibly important. This not only shows confidence in the business from an independent source for other investors, but also gets you closer to achieving your funding goals.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Go for it!!!
So much about being an entrepreneur is about beginning the journey.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
In five years we hope that Movebubble is the global platform of choice for all your moving and home needs, offering users a simple, easy to use product. We are hoping to change the way people think about moving home around the world, and facilitate the transient youth in moving and working around the world, whilst offering property owners the security and services they need to manage and maintain their rental properties.