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Tech Pitch: Settled

Backed by Facebook and Google executives, brother and sister duo Paul and Gemma Young discuss why the property industry needs a shake-up

Company name: Settled
Founders: Gemma Young (33) & Paul Young (30)
Background: Gemma – former Google executive, Paul – ex tech start-up director
Based in: London

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

  • Settled has redesigned the estate agent model for this generation
  • Our mission is to make moving home easier for buyers and sellers and shift the control from a middleman to buyers and sellers making sure consumers call the shots.
  • We’re developing the technology to address the pain points of moving (like putting a property on the market in minutes, getting a mortgage and tracking a property sale through to completion) and want to reduce the financial burden of selling and allow sellers to sell their home 100% commission free.

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

Historically, moving home has tended to be one of the most stressful experiences we’ll ever go through. We’re redesigning the whole process to making moving easier.

We went back to the drawing board on what the model should look like for this generation of buyers and sellers. We asked them to describe their ideal solution and we found a craving for a more open, easy and modern online option that places the people who care the most in control.

With Settled we’ve flipped the estate agent model on its head. With the online tools it’s now possible for sellers to list their home, to value their home like an agent would, to write their own descriptions and get on the right property platforms within minutes. The platform is 24/7 and uses automated technology to speed things up and make it easier for buyers and sellers to connect. It does all the work to match properties to vetted buyers vastly reducing delays, and giving people a consistently better solution and complete transparency.

We don’t believe in charging agent commissions. Instead, we work with expert partners who offer our users complimentary services – we take a cut from the services that we recommend meaning we make our money from companies, not individuals.

We also understand that solving the stress of moving is not just about looking at one part of the process – we’re looking at all the individual pain points (such as mortgage and legal processes) and we’re building the online solutions that will ease the pressure and modernise each step.

Are you funded?

We have been funded and are currently raising our second seed round. In our first round we got backing from Facebook's european head of marketing and Google's European managing director.

What were you doing before starting?

With a father who’s been involved in the property sector for many years, and having both worked within estate agents – we know the property market and the problems inside out. I (Gemma) went on to one of the UK’s early internet marketing agencies before spending eight years at Google – my most recent role was leading country marketing for East Africa.

Paul also left the property world for internet pastures and spent much of the last decade advising top clients on digital strategy. Paul’s most recent role prior to Settled was a director at an online marketing tech start-up.

We’ve both seen so many wonderful companies emerge over the last decade which vastly improve experiences for consumers – we love companies like Airbnb, Uber, Nutmeg, Transferwise. We think now is the time for us to use all the things we’ve learned being on the inside of the property sector and being close to emerging technology to now apply a more consumer focused model to the property sector.

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

London’s a great place to be if you’re a new business. There’s a really active and bustling start-up scene – lots of vibrancy, innovation, ideas and creativity – we love being a part of it!


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