Zoopla.Co.Uk Acquires Propertyfinder Group

Zoopla.Co.Uk Acquires Propertyfinder Group

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UK’s fastest growing property website steps up challenge to Rightmove.
Zoopla.co.uk, the UK’s leading property market resource, today announced that it had completed the acquisition of the PropertyFinder Group from News International Ltd and the REA Group, for an undisclosed sum.

The PropertyFinder Group includes propertyfinder.com, one of the best-known and most-visited property websites in the country, with over 2 million unique visitors per month as well as other online property assets including HotProperty.co.uk and UKPropertyshop.co.uk. This latest announcement by Zoopla.co.uk comes hot on the heels of its acquisition a couple of weeks ago of ThinkProperty.com from Guardian Media Group.

Under the deal, Zoopla.co.uk will take over and integrate the propertyfinder.com and other websites, benefiting from an additional 3 million unique visitors a month. The combined group will power an impressive range of property partnerships with leading UK websites including MSN, Yahoo!, AOL, Guardian, Tiscali, Sky and Virgin amongst others offering estate agents unrivalled exposure across the internet.

The acquisition is a coup for relative newcomer Zoopla.co.uk, taking over one of the most-established players in the market, propertyfinder.com, acquired by News International Ltd and REA Group in late 2005 along with HotProperty.co.uk and UKPropertyShop.co.uk that were added to the group last year.

Combining the unique and popular services offered by Zoopla.co.uk, including its free instant value estimates of every UK home, is a natural fit with the propertyfinder.com audience, long-standing industry position and relationships which will enable Zoopla.co.uk to further accelerate its impressive growth of the past year.

The combined business will be a win for both consumers, who will benefit from more listings and information on the UK property market, and agents who will gain more exposure and receive more leads as well as gaining access to the enhanced features and tools offered by Zoopla.co.uk including owner leads.

Since its launch early last year, Zoopla.co.uk has been on a non-stop path to transform the UK online property sector, with record growth despite gloomy market conditions, raising almost £4m of further funding at the start of this year and winning numerous awards. With this latest acquisition of the PropertyFinder Group, Zoopla.co.uk looks set to mount a challenge to market leader Rightmove.

Zoopla.co.uk has a highly experienced management team led by founder and CEO, Alex Chesterman, who also co-founded LOVEFiLM.com, Europe’s largest online DVD rental business. Backers of Zoopla.co.uk include leading VCs Atlas Venture and Octopus Ventures as well as a number of well-respected angel investors. Nicholas Leeming, co-founder of propertyfinder.com, will remain with the business.

Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of Zoopla.co.uk said: “This is a transformational deal both for our business and for the online property landscape in the UK. Our organic growth over the past year has been exceptional but this acquisition is a great fit for us and will accelerate us significantly towards our goal of becoming the most efficient marketing partner for UK estate agents by providing them the widest possible exposure and best value online marketing services.”

Nick Leeming, co-founder of propertyfinder.com added,
“The strength of Zoopla.co.uk in consumer and data services are a perfect fit with the long standing agent relationships, industry expertise and established levels of consumer traffic of the PropertyFinder Group. Combined we will deliver enormous value to estate agent clients across the UK. Our focus remains on providing excellent service for our member firms and this deal will allow us to further deliver on that promise.”

For further information please contact Lawrence Hall on 020 8453 4508 / 07890 078 945 lawrence.hall@zoopla.co.uk