Rightmove Partnership Attracts Investors in Real Estate Auction Platform
RO Capital Partners, the recently launched PropTech investment division of the RO Group, has co-led a £1.1m funding round alongside the Cass Enterprise Fund in online property auction technology platform for estate agents and auction houses, Bamboo Auctions.
The investment has been supported with follow on capital from existing investors and new angel investors.
Launched in 2015, Bamboo Auctions’ technology allows properties to be sold with immediate and legally binding contracts. Its marketplace makes transactions faster, more certain, and more transparent. The business has continued to grow quickly since inception with over 1,000 properties, representing a total value of over £200m, having been sold using Bamboo’s platform in the last 12 months. Customers of Bamboo include Clive Emson, Stags, Bradleys, Hunters and Webbers.
Robin Rathore, the company's founder and director, explains: "The average property transaction takes around 20 weeks, but using our technology, agents can reduce this time to just five weeks. Around 35% of transactions will fall through before reaching completion, but using Bamboo agents can increase transaction certainty to around 99 per cent. The speed and certainty that our technology brings to the transaction has given our agent customers an invaluable advantage in the market, not just because it has allowed them the space and time to sell properties during periods of lockdown, but also because it has helped to increase the number of instructions, increase the number of sales, and increase average fees overall.
"Auctions are evolving, and Bamboo is at the centre of this movement. We are continuously innovating, and by listening to our agent customers, we are focusing on making our core service the best in the market. Ultimately, we are here to help our agent customers sell more properties. That drives everything that we do at Bamboo."
Bamboo has also entered into a partnership with Rightmove, the UK's largest online real estate portal, which means properties listed by agents through the Bamboo platform will automatically be tagged as auction properties on the Rightmove site, together with up-to-date timer and bid status details. Rathmore says agents will also benefit from additional calls to action and clearer, more standardised information on each property listing page.
The company will use the growth capital to invest further in its technology to ensure it remains the best in the market, as well as introducing new features and partnership integrations. It will also be deployed in intelligent advertising and marketing to drive further sales growth; as well as maintaining the company’s high level of customer service.
Edward Rowlandson, RO Group managing director, comments: "We launched RO Capital Partners in April 2021 to invest in active, early stage tech businesses and proptech was a key market for us given our wider real estate experience.
"We are hugely excited by Bamboo, its offering, and its use of technology to innovate the real estate market. Robin and his team have demonstrated that, even though it is still in its early stages, Bamboo has a winning business strategy and great growth potential and we are delighted to lead this round alongside Cass and existing investors. “
Steve White, Group Commercial Director, adds: “The online auction market has seen significant growth during the past year, and we are excited to be investing at such a pivotal stage in Bamboo’s journey as they experience tremendous growth and fast uptake by estate agents and auction houses who are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of the Bamboo offering.”
Helen Reynolds, managing director and Investment Director for the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund - a £10 million venture capital fund investing in early-stage, high-growth businesses in the UK which was established in 2010 with support from British businessman and philanthropist Peter Cullum CBE and assists portfolio companies through a mentor panel of senior executives and recruitment and marketing support from the Cass Business School at City, University of London, says: "We have been impressed with the skills and expertise of the Bamboo CEO and his team and the strong relationships built thus far with customers and partners. We look forward to working with Robin through the next stage of Bamboo’s growth and supporting the company’s success."