Purplebricks raises £58m in AIM listing

Online estate agency to invest in software and technology development

Startups 100 number one Purplebricks, the 24/7 online estate agency, has conditionally raised £58m in a share placing ahead of its listing on London’s junior market.

Founded in 2014 by brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce, the Startups Awards overall runner up enables consumers to book property viewings, make listings, and agree to and make offers from any device at any time.

Purplebricks is expected to float on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) at an estimated value of £240m, raising £58.1m before expenses. This will result in the company netting around £25m and approximately £33.1m for shareholders selling their shares.

The largest single stake of 28.68% is held by Woodford Investment Fund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust, which is managed by Neil Woodford. The fund manager bought a 30% share in Purplebricks for £7m last summer.

The finance will be used to accelerate the development of new software and technology to improve its market standing, as well as to raise the company’s profile and to “retain, attract and incentivise employees”.

Speaking to City A.M., Michael Bruce commented: “[The placing] has been great. We’ve worked very hard, met many characters, who have embraced what we’re trying to do and achieve and are supportive for future.

“Working with Neil Woodford was interesting. What he liked about Purplebricks was our principles, and how we’re trying to change the market. He’s tried to make investing more transparent, and we have the same aims.”

Trading in Purplebricks’ shares is expected to begin on December 17 at 8am.

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