LSL Property Services, parent company of Your Move, Reeds Rains and Marsh & Parsons, this evening announced a £20m investment in an online hybrid estate agent, YOPA.
Also announced was a further £7.6m investment by Daily Mail and General Trust.
The so-called challenger estate agent has now received over £58m in funding since its launch in January 2016.
YOPA last year announced a £16m investment round led by Savills. In May this year, YOPA said it had raised another £15m in a round led by the Daily Mail, alongside new investment from Savills’ investment arm, Grosvenor Hill Ventures.
This evening’s statement says:
“During 2017 LSL has been exploring and evaluating options to capitalise on digital opportunities created by the growth in consumer acceptance of online and hybrid estate agency business models.
“LSL announces the acquisition of a minority stake in Yopa Property Limited (trading as “Yopa”). The management team is led by Daniel Attia who co-founded the business in 2014. Since then, under Daniel’s leadership the management team has successfully developed its consumer focused, technology-enabled business model, which was launched in hybrid form in January 2016.
“The business model includes market leading digital technology linking the activities of sellers and buyers with Yopa’s own local agents, who are supported by a dedicated customer service centre.
“The total consideration for the 17.3% equity investment is £20m payable in full at completion from LSL’s existing bank facilities. For the financial period ended 31st July 2015, being the 55 week period covered by the latest published accounts, Yopa reported a loss before tax of £1.0m and had gross assets of £0.3m.
“LSL and Yopa have agreed to collaborate together in a strategic partnership with the objective of creating value for both LSL and Yopa shareholders.
“Yopa will continue to operate independently, under its existing brand and management team.
“Ian Crabb, Group Chief Executive Officer of LSL, said:
‘We have been impressed by the Yopa management team, their business model and the technological capability which they have built. We are committed to working closely with the Yopa team through our strategic partnership to enhance their consumer offering and to leverage LSL’s know-how and services across the residential property value-chain. LSL aims to derive value from the strategic partnership through the potential to provide services to Yopa and to selectively leverage their know-how into the LSL Estate Agency business.
‘This investment provides LSL with a meaningful presence in the expanding online and hybrid markets and represents an attractive strategic shareholding for the LSL Group.’
“Daniel Attia, co-founder and CEO of Yopa, said:
“We are delighted to welcome LSL as an investor into the business. LSL has been evaluating a range of opportunities in the online and hybrid estate agency space, and their investment is a fantastic testament to the strength and potential of the Yopa business as well as the first-class team we have driving the business forward.
“The Yopa and LSL strategic partnership and investment will help further accelerate Yopa’s growth and cement our position as a leading player in this space.”