YOPA, the hybrid estate agency announced this morning that it has raised a £16m round of funding. This includes investment from Grosvenor Hill Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Savills plc.
The strategic investment sees Savills, founded in 1855, take a stake in the web-based estate agency market.
Jeremy Helsby, Savills Group CEO, said: “We have followed the rapid advance of the online ‘hybrid’ estate agency model over the last year.
“This investment broadens the group’s access to the UK residential sector by enabling us to take an interest in the high volume segment of the market, comprising over 1m transactions annually, to which Savills has had little exposure to date.
“We have been consistently impressed by YOPA, whose technological edge, dedication to service, clarity and focus on the client at the heart of the sales process all resonate strongly with our core values and the way we do business.”
The actual size of Savills’ stake has not been revealed. While described as a minority holding, the sum is nevertheless likely to be substantial.
Since launching nationwide in January 2016, YOPA’s listing numbers have on average more than doubled month on month, it claims.
Like Purplebricks, YOPA uses local estate agents in conjunction with its online services, charging a fixed fee of £780.
YOPA says its end to end platform means that sellers are not constrained by estate agency office hours; YOPA’s data shows that the most popular time for buyers and sellers to interact with their website is 8pm, with almost a third of viewings being conducted after 5pm and 45% over the weekend.
The funding from Savills comes alongside investment from Andrew and Alistair Barclay (two members of YOPA’s founding team and who are sons of the Telegraph owners) plus further strategic investors. A total investment of £16m was raised.
Daniel Attia, co-founder and CEO of YOPA, said: “We are immensely proud to have received investment from such a well established company.
“Savills is the UK’s leading brand in property services with substantial global operations and is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation.
“Their support, and that of our other investors, puts us in a great position to supercharge our growing market share.”