Online agent easyProperty is seeking a further £5m from investors.
According to Sky News, easyProperty’s fundraising discussions are “at an advanced stage”.
It would use the money to fund expansion and marketing.
Sky News city editor Mark Kleinman writes: “News of easyProperty’s latest attempt to tap investors comes just days before Purplebricks, a rival online player, unveils plans to list on the London Stock Exchange.”
He reports that easyProperty expects to make an announcement in the next couple of weeks, that there has been “strong interest from major players”, and that the share sale was over-subscribed.
A spokesperson for easyProperty said: “We can confirm easyProperty’s CEO Rob Ellice has been undertaking a planned third round of investment talks in line with commercial plans to fund the continued expansion of the growing online estate agency business.”
easyProperty, which has a licensing agreement with Sir Stelios Haji-Iaonnou, was founded by Robert Ellice.
It is not known how much the licensing agreement to use the ‘easy’ brand costs the firm, but the deal allows the online agent to use the brand in the UK and also allows for expansion into Europe.
easyProperty is also launching into online auction sales in the new year.
The sales will be run eBay style and utilise a new partnership with “instant” buying platform Clicktopurchase, which enables the exchange of contracts online.
So far, Clicktopurchase has been used for commercial property transactions in Britain. It was launched by Neil Singer of London-based commercial property agents Singer Vielle.
Ellice said the ability to exchange contracts online would be a “game changer”.
He said: “We will run a timed auction stating, ‘This property is up for sale’ and, as on eBay, you will be able to watch it, see what happens and when the time runs out you see where it goes.
“At the end of the auction, we will knock down the hammer and someone will have bought it.”
easyProperty launched in September last year with an online lettings service. It added sales this summer and at the weekend was listing 165 available properties for sale and 208 available rental properties.
Just before its launch last year, easyProperty had a round of crowdfunding to raise £1m – in fact it raised £1.42m – and said it was looking to raise a further £6.5m from other investors.
That was its second round of fund raising. Its first raised £5.6m.