Son of Emoov founder says ‘pot of gold’ is never guaranteed for investors

The son of Emoov founder Russell Quirk has written a reflective defence on social media of proptech and entrepreneurship.

Callum Quirk has also made it very clear that investors in the business knew exactly what they were backing – and he pays warm tribute to his father.

On his LinkedIn page, the article appears under the headline ‘Emooving on’.

In it he says: “For stakeholders including crowdfunding investors, this is an unfortunate time as ordinary people put their hard earned cash on the line along with existing shareholders – an admirable gesture to own a part of something exciting.

“It should be recalled that both funding rounds were also backed by established VCs with financial information and forecasts outlining the future prosperity of the business.

“This was no ‘punt’ but an investment with one’s own capital at risk.

“Everyone should be fully aware that there is never a guaranteed pot of gold when making investments despite any noted previous success.

“It is inherently risky in nature with the majority of start-ups failing in their first few years and only a handful reaching a successful exit (trade sale/IPO).

“In all, though, the news is disappointing for fellow ambassadors and staff where jobs and finances are now on the line.

“However, people will move on to pastures new and take some valuable life lessons with them moving forward, including the person who never stopped believing.

“A person who I’m incredibly close to, who put their family and social ties aside for nine years, all to work for a more prosperous future. I have never known anyone so determined.

“Start-ups and entrepreneurs are often overlooked in society with their sheer boldness to make a difference in the world, risking it all no matter how big or small.

“I empathise with anyone who sees opportunity and is willing to fight for it despite ongoing pressures from board members and sceptical outsiders.”

Quirk junior’s LinkedIn profile reveals that he worked for Emoov between May and November this year. His CV also include a stint as an intern at Crowdcube while at the University of Greenwich from which he graduated with a first-class degree, and produced a dissertation on crowdfunding as an alternative means of financing SMEs:

According to the Telegraph, 140 jobs are due to be lost at Emoov.

The administrators, James Cowper Kreston, said that Urban, which was part of the merger earlier this year between Emoov, Tepilo and Urban, was not part of the administration.

Meanwhile, Purplebricks boss Michael Bruce tweeted this yesterday:

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  1. Moveaside01

    Hindsight is such a lovely thing, though often only used when it’s all gone pear shaped?

  2. ArthurHouse02

    Watching a business collapse is never a pleasant thing, but i imagine there would be more sympathy towards the Quirk family if their predictions over the last few years hadnt been so bullish. Most investors dont understand our industry and how it works, so it may be easy to persuade people to invest when dangling carrots about large market share in the near future etc.

  3. nextchapter

    It sounds like the Quirks are damned if they do and they’re damned if they don’t. I read the piece and I thought it was very honest and heartfelt. You guys do not seen to understand. There was a man that dedicated nearly 10 years of his life to create something he truly, to the core believed in. He sacrificed a lot to get there.  He didn’t take 30 million pounds of people’s money and run off to the Bahamas! He worked hard and it didn’t worl out, that’s life. Thats the life of many high profile entrepreneur s.  Many had businesses that didn’t work the first time around. I’d like to see any of you scale something to the size that they did. Stop being so negative and look at what was achieved and applaud it.

    1. JVSOZ

      Sorry, are you serious? Is this Quirk himself behind this “nextchapter” alias. Me thinks so.

    2. Property Poke In The Eye

      Are you a member of the Quirk Family?

      Give me 30 million and I also work hard.  Regardless of results or making a profit..

    3. FlyingSheep54

      “I’d like to see any of you scale something to the size that they did.”
      Enlighten us. Because they scaled it up to 3000+ listings and 140 staff only to never make a penny and subsequently collapse, is that a measure of success?

    4. South of the City EA

      As you appear to know so much about Emoov, please let us know what Mr Quirk actually achieved?Did they make a profit in 10 years? Raised a lot of money yes and made a lot of noise. He is of course a ‘media star’. Do you mean that?

      “Sacrificed a lot to get there” don’t make me laugh! You make it sound like he has been working down the pit 12 hours a day! With all the hot air he has made over the years expect zero sympathy here…. most contributors to this site are independent estate agency owners who work on the ‘coal face’ every day.

      Quirk comes from a priviledged background. I expect he has a big house, big car, kids at private school etc. I’m sure he has paid himself a six figure salary too for the last 10 years.

      My thoughts are with the Emoov staff, investors and those owed money by the company.


  4. OnlineEA

    Applaud it?  Sorry but with 140 people facing Xmas jobless, applauding is not quite what most people will feel about Emoov right now.

    Aside of the big companies who backed this, there will be many “normal” people who believed the hype of certain crowdfunding sites and put their savings into what they were told was going to be a huge success.  I can certainly see the landscape changing around those sites in the near future……


  5. Jonathan.Welford

    And Purplebricks circling the vendors like vultures… I wonder if they would offer all the staff a job in exchange for the property listings?

  6. smile please

    Dont remember Quirk senior or Juniour being so vocal about investments can go down, before or whilst fund raising.

    Can mini me and and the failure not go and lick their wounds quietly in private. Had about enough of this sickening “It’s not my fault, I tried my best”

  7. GeorgeOrwell

    Noted Callum, especially all those “caveats” you so thoughtfully added post collapse re the risk for investors etc

    Tell me, were these so thoughtfully portrayed/highlighted by your father when he was doing his crowdfunding pitch?

    I’m sorry to say, because I don’t know you, however with what has actually taken place from start to finish your statement has an exceedingly hollow ring to it

    Nothing personal, just my comment



  8. Mrlondon52

    Mr Quirk Sr’s desire for self-promotion over the past decade has alienated many in the industry. And if you cast yourself as the visionary and superior to the legacy product, when that vision fails then there will be schadenfreude.

    An entrepreneur needs to talk their product up, of course, but there are ways to do this.

    Many tech co’s lose money and eat capital but if they grow users consistently and aggressively then they placate (and attract) investors. In tech terms, Emoove simply didn’t have enough ‘users’ to entice more capital. As we end 2018 the ‘online agent’ business model proves to be not (easily) scalable. Doorsteps might be an exception and good luck to them – if they can make £100 FSBO work then they deserve respect.


  9. AgencyInsider

    Making a dedicated and passionate attempt to build a ‘new’ business is not for the faint hearted and is mostly to be applauded.

    However, when such an attempt – however dedicated and passionate – is accompanied by unpleasant hyperbole, bluster, and denigration, it is unlikely to find favour among the people that the new business wishes to ‘disrupt’.

    And there should be no surprise at all if those same people then take some satisfaction in seeing that new business fail.

  10. Bigbee73

    I accepted a job with Emoov almost exactly a year ago but fortunately had a change of heart when offered a pay rise at Countrywide. Wasted a year of my life staying there, watched my Shares drop 85% and I wonder where I would have been better off? Frying pan, fire etc..
    I was often told that those who shouted about having more money, were often the ones with the least, it appears to be very true in this case! How could everyone else could see this coming, except the Quirk family?
    I believe the lesson to be learnt here is that if you want to get rich, just shout loudly enough, until you genuinely believe it yourself, are so blinded by your own BS, that people with more money than sense will begin to believe you too.
    Hopefully we will get to se where all the money went as I have no doubt the RS would have left himself fairly comfortably off? At the very least, I hope he has been humbled by this experience, I wonder?
    Best of luck to all the staff and I hope they have some resemblance of a good Christmas.

  11. Property Poke In The Eye

    Let’s face it, these FSBO/DIY has a small place in the market.  Not mainstream.

    Investors and the city have now realized.

    These investments should be labelled as HIGH RISK and should an advised sale through an adviser, like other regulated investment products.

  12. cyberduck46

    Good publicity for PB if they take on Emoov’s customers.


    I imagine they’d have to pay the LPEs though so not inexpensive.







    1. GeorgeOrwell

      Of course Purplebricks really need to step forward re Emoov, to try and reassure their online audience that pseudo online estate agency isn’t going to collapse and take their money with it

      Rather than being good news for Purplebricks one could easily view the Emoov collapse as exposing the vulnerability of going virtual

      More challenging times for Purplebricks rollercoaster shareprice?

  13. FlyingSheep54

    “However, people will move on to pastures new and take some valuable life lessons with them” What an extraordinarily arrogant and glib way to describe the crisis that the staff now face heading into Xmas.

  14. seenitall

    How much did RQ get paid during his time running the show?

    Bet he did not lose anything unlike the employees working there. I feel sorry for the employees. [Sentence removed as it breached posting rules]
    Its very easy for RQ to spend other peoples money and then be glib and reflective about it later. [Sentence removed as it breached posting rules]

  15. dave_d

    “One thing’s for sure though, I will never forget flying to Scotland to erect a for sale board for one particular customer. All in the name of great customer service…”

    Flying to erect a for sale board? I think I know why they went under….

  16. GPL



    I can’t believe I missed that….. Russell in his Big Hot Air Balloon floating over Scotland with a for sale board sticking out of his “annus horribilis”.

    Comical story surely? …….did he fly back to put a “Sold” on it or is it lying horizontal in a hedge somewhere? A Collectors Item surely, I’ve never seen one in Scotland …..more chance of seeing The Loch Ness Monster than an Emoov Board!



  17. J1

    We all make mistakes; have horrendous periods in our business and home lives and sometimes people manage to Phoenix themselves and be super successful going forward.  Good luck to them.

    The problem here is that RQ has made a lot of misguided remarks about changing a profession; using tech or whatever, to undercut and undermine the livelihoods of well meaning very hard working professionals; and he has used this forum to poke fun and stick two fingers up to them.

    He won’t receive much sympathy on here and should now be left to lick his wounds in solitary confinement.

    The king is dead; long live the king.


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