Backing online property stalwart Zoopla (again) with £3.75M

I am delighted to announce that the highly deserving management team of Zoopla, led by Alex Chesterman has raised a further £3.75M in funding.   Octopus Ventures, which backed Alex in the past at ScreenSelect, is joining us in this round with a £2M investment and is joined by Sean Park and Amy Nauiokas, respectively former head of digital markets at DKW and head of e-commerce at BarCap.

Techcrunch has a “whopping post” on the fundraising which expands on the trend bucking nature of this financing.

When I funded Zoopla back in the summer of 2007 I already had a bearish view on the property market (and sold my house to prove it :-)).  But I was also convinced that there was a next generation online real estate leader to be built.  It’s worth expanding on why as a fund we would excited about a company like Zoopla at the current time:

  • People: First of all, it’s a pleasure to work with a management that is highly self sufficient, cost aware and iterates incredibly fast in what is clearly a devastated market.  Alex Chesterman, Simon Kain (ex CTO Lovefilm), Doug Monro (ex MD Gumtree) and the rest of the team are a joy to work with.  They just get it and their execution is almost flawless.   The board is also superb with William Reeve, Simon Murdoch, Robin Klein involved, alongside some great angels we brought in at the last round such as Sherry Coutu and Andy Phillips.
  • Achievements: We have gone to #5 in the space (according to Nielsen) behind only RightMove and the main media groups in less than a year, with v. low marketing budgets.  This means that Zoopla has “found its voice” with consumers and is ahead of all its targets on site metrics.
  • Winning the marathon (and the sprint): The business is fundamentally inexpensive to run and we can take our time in polishing our approach over time.  At the same time we have a clear shot at building the next leader in this space and we are firmly focused on the big picture.  Right now I am glad to see us in the top rankings and with great customer feedback a year out of the gate.

Great companies are built in times of adversity.  I don’t want to say much about our strategy here to keep this exciting, but I am highly confident that we can build a clear next gen leader in this field with innovation at every level.  If you want some insights into the data aspects of the business, better read Sean’s post here

Onward !

<— Alex Chesterman, Founder and CEO, “your advantage in property”

<— Simon Kain, co-founder and CTO, making it happen

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