Doorsteps founder Akshay Ruparelia ‘reluctantly’ quits

The founder of online estate agency Doorsteps, Akshay Ruparelia, has quit as CEO of the company.

Akshay Ruparelia

Ruparella, 22, founded Doorsteps.co.uk in 2016 when he was 17. But he informed the press yesterday that he resigned from his position with the company at the end of April.

He issued the following statement:

“After five extraordinary years at the helm of Doorsteps.co.uk, I reluctantly stood down from my position as CEO on Friday 30th April.

“When Doorsteps.co.uk started in 2016, when I was 17, my mission was to positively disrupt an antiquated sector with a new type of estate agency – one that utilized technology to save customers time and money.

“Through the hard work and dedication of my entire team, the company has been one of the fastest growing estate agencies in the UK. Today the company employs over 50 brilliant staff, has sold over £1bn worth of properties, saved customers over £11m in fees, hit over £2m in sales and become profitable.

“I feel so honoured to have gained this experience at such a young age; to have built a business with real social benefit, and to have shared the journey with the Doorsteps.co.uk family and customers along the way.

“It is however time for a change. My fellow director and I do not share the same strategic vision for the company’s growth, and I have therefore taken the decision to move onto new ventures. The remaining director will be moving the business forward as they see fit.

“I am deeply motivated and passionate about the projects I will be moving onto, starting with AKR Growth Ventures. The purpose and mission of AKR Growth Ventures is to change lives by helping young founders, startups and charities disrupt out-of-date and out-of-touch business practices – through technology, organisational culture and exceptional performance.

“I shall be releasing a further statement in the coming weeks as I consider the other exciting challenges and opportunities that I have had time to explore since leaving Doorsteps.co.uk.

“Although my journey at Doorstseps.co.uk has come to an end, the company will always be in my heart, and I maintain an absolute belief – as I did when I was 17 – that the future for estate agents is in a technology-based, people-focussed model.

“I would like to wholeheartedly thank the staff, investors and partners that have joined me on this journey, and I wish the remaining director the best of luck with their future ambitions.”

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14 Comments

  1. smile please

    Another online, cheap agent facing issues.

     

    Fair play to the lad setting it up at 17 but the fact is you need to make money not spend it.

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    1. Bless You

      only thing iam sorry about is Rightmove let you on the site. Destroying fee’s and agents will come back and bite them soon.

      with no stock on agetns books, they will have to change prices soon to ‘price per stock’ not ‘price for licence’

      Its that quiet, the consumer wanting agents to be on righttmove may not be a priority soon…

      Onthemarket now need to organise the GREAT RIGTHMOVE SWITCH-OFF….  and quickly.

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  2. haveathink

    What about some proper analysis over their accounts?

    I actually tried to book a viewing on a property they were advertising, the lady said let me check the details (got the impression the call was outsourced to a home address) promptly the phone seemed to click back as she hung up!

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    1. AlwaysAnAgent

      £2m of sales fees over 5 years isn’t impressive when you consider the initial investment, and 50 staff being paid out of £500k of income, at a guess, is a complete disaster.

      There will be a long tail of crowdfunding investors who will eventually lose their money.

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  3. Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    I think that if you look at Upside Capital Financial Ltd – on companies house – that might answer some of your questions Always an Agent. And I agree peer to peer lending – an easy way to get a carpet bag of money – not so easy when no investors get no return, and everyone leaves.I do think that the regulators should end the practice of any company saying it has a market capitalisation of £10M – Which is a figure made up by Founders seeking cash investment on the unregulated market of peer to peer lenders – a figure investors rely upon when paying in their cash. After all they are often pre-revenue and pre customer.Like Doorsteps original elevator pitch to investors – ‘by 2020, 50% of properties will be marketed by online agents’. Here have 5% of this great new enterprise you will be rich- it will only cost you Mr Investor and your 356 friends £1,400 each to buy in collectively for £500,000.Then the investor wakes up and realise that the share of the 5% share has no value, as it is not a listed company, and you will not be able to sell your £1,400 fractional ‘share’ – then the Founder resigns and you say – where is my investment? No doubt perhaps AKR growth investments will be growing the dreams of some new investors.As to the P&L of Doorsteps, built on the fiction of completing a sale for £99, has anyone seen the latest figures? I would be very happy to know if they have ever made a penny profit. 

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    1. AlwaysAnAgent

      Good points. Not that I’m pointing any fingers but it seems that some people in our sector set out to make a living out of the gullibility of investors.

      I am sure the investors in this business have not “enjoyed” the journey quite as much as the Directors have.

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  4. PeeBee

    “Today the company… hit over £2m in sales and become profitable.”

    I’d love to know where these people’s definition of “profitable” comes from.  Companies with £millions of accumulated losses have a year where they spend £5 less than they bring in – or, more likely, don’t pay their bills – and TA DA!!… they have made a “profit”.

    If it wasn’t so unbelievably wrong on so many levels, it would be funny…

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  5. PeeBee

    “My fellow director and I do not share the same strategic vision for the company’s growth”

    Goes to show – there’s nowt worse than family falling out due to “strategic vision”.  You can just imagine the unbearable tension at every future get-together…

    “I shall be releasing a further statement in the coming weeks as I consider the other exciting challenges and opportunities that I have had time to explore since leaving Doorsteps.co.uk.”

    **Spoiler alert** 

    For those of you that don’t want to wait until the ‘further statement’ – he registered AKR Real Estate Ltd within 2 weeks of his termination at Doorstops.

    And, surprisingly, he still appears to be on the Directors list of one of the Doorstops group – Upside Capital Financial Ltd.  So he and his “fellow director” must share some strategic vision for the company’s growth” after all.

    You couldn’t make it up.  Oh, wait…

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    1. Gloslet

      I presumed he would be getting onboard at Boomin – it seems to be where other rinse and repeat operators end up.

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      1. PeeBee

        Jeez – the very thought of all the failed onliners clubbing together in one, guaranteed-to-fail-spectacularly venture…

        …if only the industry were that fortunate.

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  6. Woodentop

    And at 17 years old had all the experience to sell someone’s assets in a very demanding and regulatory environment for £99 to cover all the costs. Lol.

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  7. Property Fan

    Another failed example of somebody trying to take the value added out of selling your most valuable asset effectively. £99 service to’ sell’ your property is just taking money from people to advertise and do it themselves. They will all have lost £1000s as vendors  on average. Like selling your car to trade for minimum price rather than having someone put the effort in. 2m revenue is a disaster so no wonder other partners have a different plan. Good on him at 17 to try something and learn from it. More fool investors for falling for it. I would never sell my biggest asset via any on-lone only service as I have seen first hand and for real how greatly skilled agents makes a difference. The business is first an foremost about people and skill and then supported by tech.

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    1. PeeBee

      Property Fan – you would make a great ambassador for our industry if you ever decided to give up your day job… whatever that is!

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  8. Property Fan

    Well I am retired marketing expert who spent a lot of my career advising boards on how reshape their products and services, get their proposition to customers clear, price them well and use on-line correctly within it as a new channel; and also did a lot of organisational and HR work to get people doing the right things. Worked in over 50 industries.  I know about it where it use is correct and where it is not. Happy to add what wisdom I can to the debate.

    One interesting thing I have found is that over all industries there are about 15% of people who are purely price sensitive. And they are the same people. So you need to ignore them and get on with servicing the other 85% who care what they are getting and are more value thinkers.  Leave the 15% to the purple brick et al. Don’t bother fighting for them. No point.  MA

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