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Property website Zoopla.co.uk receives further £3.75 million investment

18th Jan 2009

Zoopla.co.uk, the UK's fastest growing property website, has bucked both the property market and investment climate trends by announcing the closing of a £3.75 million round of new funding from leading venture capital firms Atlas Venture and Octopus Ventures.

Launched less than a year ago (January 2008), Zoopla.co.uk is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak property market, reporting record website traffic despite the gloomy market conditions and outlook. Zoopla.co.uk is already one of the top five most-visited property websites in the UK (source: Nielsen, Dec 08) having achieved over five million visits and 40 million page views in its first 12 months.

Zoopla.co.uk is the UK's leading website for house price and market value data, providing the most comprehensive source of residential property market information including free, instant value estimates on all 27 million UK homes. And as the UK's most active property community, Zoopla.co.uk continues to harness the combination of publicly available data and proprietary user-generated content, boasting over one million user contributions to its website in 2008 alone. With its imminent and innovative launch of estate agent listings on a pay-for-performance basis, Zoopla.co.uk expects to become the website of choice for anyone interested in the property market - whether buying, selling or just looking to stay informed about market activity.

Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of Zoopla.co.uk, commented:

"With our latest funding we will continue to champion transparency and efficiency in the property market and are focussed on empowering users with information and helping estate agents make the most of their marketing spend. The challenging housing market outlook further increases the relevance of Zoopla.co.uk's services at a time when consumers' thirst for information is increasing in the face of difficult property decisions and estate agents seek more cost effective ways of obtaining enquiries and building their inventory pipeline."

Zoopla.co.uk has now raised a total of almost £5.5m with the latest funding being used to further develop the company's technology platform, grow its team and boost its sales and marketing efforts. Zoopla.co.uk has a highly experienced and proven management team led by Alex Chesterman, its founder and CEO, who most recently co-founded ScreenSelect.co.uk (now LOVEFiLM.com, Europe's largest online DVD rental business). In addition to Atlas Venture and Octopus Ventures, other backers of Zoopla.co.uk include Nauiokas Park LLP as well as a number of well-respected angel investors including Sherry Coutu, Robin Klein of the Accelerator Group, Simon Murdoch, Andy Phillipps and William Reeve.

Alex Macpherson, Chief Executive of Octopus Ventures commented:

"The rapid success Zoopla.co.uk has enjoyed since its launch proves there is a clear gap in the market for a service that integrates the requirements of buyers, sellers, owners and estate agents. It is an extremely compelling proposition managed by a team of highly seasoned, successful entrepreneurs with whom Octopus has a longstanding relationship and we are delighted to be working with the Zoopla.co.uk team."

Fred Destin, Partner at Atlas Venture and repeat backer of Zoopla.co.uk added:

"Great businesses emerge in times of hardship. Alex and the team are building the next-generation leader in the property space, we will be there to support them all the way and are grateful to be working with such an accomplished management team."

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

For further Octopus Ventures information please contact Michaela Hopkins / Emily Bastin, The Millbrook Partnership: +44 (0) 20 7520 9455 / ov@millbrookpartnership.com

For further Atlas Venture information please contact Josephine Salm, Ballard Associates: +44 (0) 20 7978 7773 / josephine@ballard-associates.com

Notes to Editors

About Zoopla.co.uk

Zoopla.co.uk is a unique property website offering users information and tools to help them make better-informed property decisions. Our aim is to provide the most comprehensive source of residential property market information in the UK to help buyers, sellers, owners and estate agents alike and give them an advantage in the property market.

In 2007, following the success of bringing DVD rental to the web with LOVEFiLM.com, Zoopla founders Alex Chesterman and Simon Kain realised that the UK property market had yet to fully enjoy the benefits of the internet in terms of its ability to deliver transparency and efficiency. They set out with the mission to transform the property market for both professionals and consumers by:

  • offering users FREE access to instant value estimates, sold house prices and local information and trends
  • enhancing estate agents' marketing efficiency by providing exposure/leads on a pay-for-performance basis
  • helping users find local agents and other property professionals to assist them in the transaction process
  • letting buyers make offers on ANY UK home and owners test interest in their homes before choosing to sell
  • creating an environment where anyone can ask/answer questions and share their knowledge about homes

We have started by providing FREE value estimates, sold prices and local information as well as letting users add content by editing information and uploading photos. We are the UK's fastest growing property website and by far the largest and most active property community in the UK, with over a million user contributions to our website in 2008 alone. We have already launched some unique features, like TemptMe™ and AskMe™, which allow consumers to gain an insight into the market and discover information they won't find anywhere else. Our estate agent directory, FindAnAgent and our unique AskAnAgent feature allow users to contact local professionals directly for their expertise. Very soon we will begin accepting estate agent listing feeds and delivering buyer leads to agents on a no-risk, performance-based model, making Zoopla.co.uk the most cost-effective way for agents to gain exposure and develop their inventory pipeline.

Our value estimates are calculated using a proprietary algorithm (a secret formula) that we have developed by analysing millions of data points relating to property sales and home characteristics throughout the UK. The algorithm works by comparing relationships between home prices, economic trends and property characteristics in given geographic areas. Our estimates are constantly refined, using the most recent data available from public sources combined with our proprietary used-generated data and a variety of statistical methodologies, in order to provide the most current information on any home.

Zoopla Limited is a privately held company with a highly experienced and proven management team, backed by well-respected angel investors and leading venture capital firms Atlas Venture (atlasventure.com) and Octopus Ventures (octopusventures.com).

Zoopla.co.uk Awards

  • Winner: 'UK's Most Promising Internet Company 2008' (First Tuesday)
  • Winner: 'Best Property Website - Gold Award' (Web User Magazine)
  • Winner: 'Best Real Estate website 2008' (Websiteoftheyear.co.uk)

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