Foxtons and Channel 4 to take a stake in Boomin – report

Channel 4, Foxtons and Mortgage Advice Bureau have agreed to take a stake in Boomin as the portal seeks fresh funding, according to Sky News.

Boomin founder Michael Bruce is currently finalises the first stage of a £25m fundraising for the new portal, and has already attracted investment from DM Capital, a venture capital operation, which was an early backer of Purplebricks.

Now Sky News says that Channel 4, the state-owned broadcaster, is to take a stake in Boomin, as part of a media-for-equity deal that it has deployed with increasing frequency in recent years.

Sources said that the broadcaster had agreed to take a stake in Boomin alongside strategic investors including Foxtons and Mortgage Advice Bureau.

The new investors will be part of a roughly £25m fundraising that could be extended ahead of its conclusion in the coming weeks, according to insiders.

Yesterday, Boomin announced that former Virgin Group chief executive Stephen Murphy was to become the company’s new chairman.

The new funding is being committed at a £100m post-money valuation, according to people close to Boomin.

The new portal has divided opinion in the estate agency sector.

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20 Comments

  1. AlwaysAnAgent

    Foxtons is being lambasted in the FT this morning for paying bonuses after refusing to repay £4m of furlough and grant monies. Its CEO is effectively taking a bonus from the public purse.

    Winkworth and Belvoir were first out with repaying in full and they’re receiving well earned credit for doing so. Winkworth is mentioned in the same FT article.

    Grants and furlough monies should have been repaid before they decided to sink money into a risky investment. Poor management indeed.

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  2. jsmcr

    So has anyone who has signed up received any enquires yet? I’m in Central Manchester, only one agent (a national) has signed up, plus a developer.

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    1. AgentQ73

      Would be interesting to see a story about how many properties and agents they have showing  instead of regurgitating press releases.

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  3. haveathink

    I think there could be a question how Foxtons took taxpayer furlough money, tapped up institutional investors, went on a buying spree of estate agents and is now making a speculative investment in a fledgling Internet portal.

    Certainly the furlough aspect in my view against the spirit of essentially taxpayer aid set out to avoid what was looking like an economic catastrophe.

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  4. AgencyInsider

    Here they go again…

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    1. MarkRowe

      @agencyinsider

      Exactly! If you signed up to Boomin ignoring or perhaps thinking that it doesn’t matter who is behind it or may be you think it’s a positive thing they owned Purplebricks, remember this – the only people who made money were the top dogs (The Bruce’s and their mates). Not the consumer and not estate agents.

      THIS will be no different.

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  5. David Clark

    Don’t miss the fact that a state-owned organisation, Channel 4, is investing public money in this (yours/mine). Anyone got their investment departments number?

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    1. watchdog13

      It’s an airtime for equity deal, so no taxpayers money.

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      1. skipdale

        Same thing. They are giving airtime that they would normally charge for so it is coming out of the tax payers pockets in lost revenue.

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        1. mywayorthehiway

          Yes and err no, if they were refusing someone else’s paid adverts to accommodate this form of advertising your point would be 100% valid. They are swapping the cost of airing the adverts only which is somewhat less.

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  6. Hillofwad71

    You have to hand it to Bruce he is the past master at extracting  investment .Just ask Axel Springer and Woodward.
    Salesman par  excellence.
     
    He has already applied a valuation of in excess of £100m to Boomin ! That is already  ahead of On The Market  -Current market valuation £70.7m .
     
      Michael has always set great store by Trustpilot reviews so he won’t be happy with the 3 currently posted  2 x1 *reviews and 1 x 2*review.
     
       Unsure that Foxtons shareholders will be happy them  chipping in a £3m  speculative investment although having a PLATINUM status they might hope to gain some extra instructions as the public might think they are better than others!
     
      Interesting times ahead in Portal Wars.
     
       “In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

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  7. Ostrich17

    £100million !

    £20 million (20%) for EA signing up – that’s barely £1000 per office.

    No, it won’t be just for “founder agents”, that was a FOMO tactic to leverage investment.

    No EA is going to sign up in the future without the promise of “free” shares  (see Agents Mutual/OTM ).

    Meanwhile, we can expect lots of visitor/click stats as Boomin’ try to outdo RM/Z/OTM.

     

    Have any EA advertised regularly in 4 different newspapers ?

     

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  8. JonnyBanana43

    These chaps are certainly very good at piling in the “investment“

    what the investors probably don’t realise is that the most estate agents would not give these chaps another penny… We have memories and purplebricks cut us deep…

    #bustin

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    1. Ding Dong

      agree, although its the same old companies who brought the tenants fees ban upon the industry …foxtons etc

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  9. smile please

    There is only 1 reason to take external investment and 1 reason external investors, invest.

    Floating.

    Once it’s a listed company they have a duty to provide a return to investors.

    They will then be a carbon copy of RM

    We really don’t need Boomin, don’t give them the foothold they need.

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  10. RichardHill61

    Never use your own money! Clever

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  11. Property Ear

    This news is even more farcical then the April family fool jape posted on eye recently. Anyone or organisation investing in this doomed to fail venture must have far more money than sense.

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    1. Ding Dong

      sadly, if you read LinkedIn, its like they are the next Messiah.  I assume there is a whole eco system relying on such rubbish.

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  12. Woodentop

    Watch this turn out the same as PB did. Hype and promises with other peoples money, fat cat directors then cashing in before the collapse leaving one big mess for the shop floor to survive from the fall out? The cynic in me questions the real motive of setting up Boomin! 
     
    Any estate agent who has signed up with Boomin and it turns into a disaster for the industry …. people have long memories and in this day and age of social media don’t think something won’t bounce back in your direction very quickly.

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  13. Once Bitten

    It will be floated at the earliest possible opportunity, like the giant t**d it is.

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