Homemove, a tech platform connecting sellers, buyers and renters with vetted, trusted and established home moving services, has raised $400,000 in pre-seed funding to aid rapid growth.
Led by Fuel Ventures and supported by Oracle VC and a strong array of angel investors, this round of funding will be used to scale up the business and build upon the inhouse proprietary platform which currently serves home sellers.
With the funds raised, Homemove will be launching a suite of game-changing features, including cutting-edge CRMs, advanced communication tools, and AI-powered valuation tools that will empower their hand-picked partners to achieve even greater success. They will also be used to expand the partnership team to cover more geographic regions and market segments in the UK, and to fuel its rapid expansion.
Industry veteran and Ex Rightmove Commercial Director Jason Busby and seasoned marketplace executive James Moore have backed the founders and joined as NEDs to bring their valuable experience in scaling up multi-billion pound household marketplaces.
Homemove reduces the stress of moving home by streamlining the process and providing a one-stop destination for customers to research, choose and talk to each professional service in the home moving journey online with real-time updates, all for free.
With the successful beta launch of Homemove in June of last year, the team has seen tremendous growth in customers, with hundreds of users flocking to the platform to find the most reliable and trusted home moving services. In a display of momentum, Homemove has already achieved record-breaking user numbers in the first two weeks of 2023 alone, solidifying its position as the destination for anyone in need of home moving services.
In an effort to challenge the so-called ‘disruptors’, Homemove will be promoting the best local and independent service providers who prioritise their clients’ best interests. The platform, which has already onboarded over 500 estate agents throughout the UK and built out strategic partnerships with other home moving services, aims to improve service levels across the industry and reduce the number of transactions that fall through.
According to Legal & General, moving home can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life and, with Homemove, the goal is to augment the home-moving journey through technology and exceptional customer service, reducing transaction times and fall-through rates and ultimately reducing one of life’s biggest stressors.
Louis O’Connell-Bristow, Homemove co-founder & CEO, said: “My vision is to significantly improve the home moving process and this funding round is a major step towards achieving that goal. As an ex estate agent, I have witnessed firsthand the issues that can arise in the industry due to poor practices, which can lead to consumers feeling sceptical and negative towards the entire sector.
“At Homemove, we are promoting only the highest rated companies that can benefit from Homemove’s trustworthy and impartial reputation, while still maintaining the personal touch that customers want during this significant life event.”
James Freestone, Homemove co-founder & COO, said: “At Homemove, we are not just building a brand, we are building a legacy of trust and excellence. We are thrilled to secure funding from institutional investors alongside strong angel investors. Their investment will go towards ensuring that all of our customers have the best home moving experience possible.
“We are always pushing the boundaries to find new ways to reduce costs and stress for all parties involved, in our relentless pursuit of becoming the gold standard in customer service and streamlining transaction times, nothing is off the table.”
Mike Stevenson, Fuel Ventures, said: “Homemove stood out to us because of their innovative approach to building and maintaining relationships not just with estate agents and movers, but across the whole home moving value chain. When combined with the robust industry and commercial experience of the founders, alongside ex-Rightmove Commercial Director Jason Bushby and seasoned marketplace exec James Moore joining as NEDs – we at Fuel think team Homemove are well placed to bring this highly fragmented market into the 21st century.”
Tom Whitby, Oracle VC General Partner, said: “Oracle VC invests in digital trade enablers that reduce friction across the value chain. Homemove does this for the sale of real property, which remains inefficient and un-digitalised. All the actors in the transaction are aligned by an efficient digital process that should result in a faster, smoother property sale,”
Louis O’Connell Bristow leads the business and develops the technology platform for Homemove. He has over 11 years of experience in the estate agency industry and in using web tools to support agents. He previously worked as an estate agent at Watsons and ran a previous business before joining forces with James to expand Homemove’s vision. He holds a BSc Hons from the University of East Anglia and is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents.
James Freestone is responsible for raising the funds and setting strategic direction for Homemove. He has over 10 years of experience in management consulting, corporate finance, strategic execution, and business development. He has a background in working with start-ups and international brands alike, including Jaguar Land Rover and Bidstack PLC. He has a BSc Joint Hons from Aston University and is a qualified accountant.