Doorsteps, the online agent founded by Akshay Ruparelia when he was still a teenager, has gone back to Crowdcube for a second round of fundraising where the company is said to be valued at £18m.
Last year he raised over £500,000, quoting the same valuation.
This time his target was £400,000 which by early yesterday evening had been easily exceeded with 216 investors chipping in very nearly £600,000.
The latest fundraising campaign went live on Monday and still has 28 days still to go. With its initial target of £400,000, 3.22% of equity was being offered in the business.
The largest investment so far has been £200,000, and by just after 5pm yesterday it had raised a further £11,490 during the day.
The pitch claims that “the high street is dying”. It says that by December last year, 24.1% of all non-food shopping was done online and that “estate agents are central to that decimation. Countrywide, for example, closed 200 branches last year.”
The pitch says that Doorsteps wants to be the “go-to place to sell your home” and that its goal is to become the largest and “best serving” estate agent in Britain.
Doorsteps, which charges from £99, says it is currently listing over 2,000 properties and that it has become the tenth largest estate agent in the UK, without a penny spent on advertising.
Crediting word of mouth for its growth, it says that when people save £5,000 on their property sale “they DO tell others”.
In questions and answers on the Crowdcube site, Ruparelia – still only 20 – makes it clear that his firm makes more than £99 per listing, and on average brings in revenue of £250 per property through up-sells. It appears it wants to double this to £500.
Doorsteps says it intends to use the latest funds for recruitment purposes, saying: “We’ll use funds raised to hire key personnel to provide higher value services and cope with current levels of demand.
“We are aiming for a 1.9% share of the UK market this year. We also aim to double the average revenue per customer.”