German publishing giant Axel Springer has invested £125 million in Purplebricks, taking an 11.5% stake in the online estate agent firm.
Dr Andreas Wiele, president of classifieds media at Axel Springer, will join the board. He said: “Under the leadership of its founder Michael Bruce, Purplebricks has created a highly innovative digital real estate platform and has become the clear market leader in the UK in a short space of time. For Axel Springer, this minority stake offers the opportunity to participate in an innovative, fast growing business model in new markets.”
Michael Bruce, chief executive of Purplebricks, said: “It is fitting that on the cusp of our four year anniversary we continue to push boundaries and challenge conventional thinking. The strategic partnership with Axel Springer is ground breaking and will propel Purplebricks further towards our strategic goals and global ambition. We now have the platform, funding and, through Axel Springer’s experience, as well as the appointment of four new leading non-executive directors, the expertise to achieve our vision.
“Purplebricks continues to be a pioneer and a consumer champion, providing customers with a better and more cost effective way to buy, sell and let property through the combination of technology and first class people. Our feedback, which has just broken through 40,000 UK reviews on Trustpilot, with an average score of 9.6 out of 10 is further evidence that consumers across countries are embracing change and recognise the benefits we deliver.
“The funds raised will be used to put even more clear blue water between us and our competitors in terms of customer service and bring the Purplebricks offering to new territories. We are confident in the future, welcome the endorsement of Axel Springer and look forward to continuing to deliver value for all of our shareholders.”