Tech Pitch: Bricklane

The latest in a stream of property tech start-ups, this two month-old business makes owning a stake in the housing market "radically more accessible"...

Company name: Bricklane.com
Founders: Tom Cavill (31) and Simon Heawood (30)
Background: Cavill is a product designer and developer with experience at various start-ups in the UK and US. Heawood was a consultant at Oliver Wyman before leading product development at an AIM-listed tech start-up.
Based in: Moorgate, London

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

Bricklane.com  is  a platform that allows anyone to own a stake in the property market, whatever their financial position.

Through the first online Property ISA, it allows savers to keep up with house prices, and receive rental income too, by investing in groups of expertly chosen properties, starting from £100.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

We think too many people are shut out of the property market. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the proportion of 25–34 year olds owning a home dropped from 57% to 37% between 2005 and 2015.

While renting, people find that house prices are rising faster than their savings, putting a home of their own increasingly out of reach.

Bricklane.com makes owning a stake in the market, and keeping up with house prices, radically more accessible.

Are you funded?

We’ve raised £1.3m from Zoopla Property Group – with whom we also have a long-term partnership- alongside Local Globe which is a leading seed venture capital (VC) fund. We’ve also got backing angel investors from financial services, real estate and tech.

What were you doing before starting?

We’re both renters ourselves, and so knew that something like our product needed to exist.

We agreed that in order to make a real difference, we needed to create a financial product that met the needs of our customers, and deliver it in such a way that it’s compelling and easy to understand for people who think of themselves as savers, rather than investors.

Cavill’s background in development and design and Heawood’s background in finance got us started, and we’ve now got a fantastic team on board with even more diverse talents.

What’s the best thing about where you’re based?

Our business sits at the intersection of financial services, real estate and technology. London’s blend of a vibrant tech scene, with its traditional strengths in financial services and real estate, mean it’s the ideal place for us to be based.

We’ve had tremendous support from the tech community here, both from investors and past success stories like Zoopla, and think the capital will go from strength to strength in the coming years.

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