Mashroom brings Emoov back to life
Mashroom brings online estate agent Emoov back to life one month after it entered administration
Photo | The team behind Mashroom and the Emoov rescue
We’re here to tell you (hopefully) everything you need to know about Mashroom’s purchase of Emoov in this Q&A with the new Mashroom / Emoov / Tepilo team led by proptech entrepreneur Stepan Dobrovolskiy in London.
“Mashroom is excited to announce the purchase of the online estate agency, Emoov. Showing our deep confidence in the online property industry, we have acquired the branding and platform assets of Emoov.” — Stepan Dobrovolskiy
So, Mashroom has bought Emoov then?
Indeed, Mashroom purchased the brand name and its platform and relaunched Emoov on the 21st of January 2019. You can read our press release here.
Emoov is now part of Mashroom. It has the same Emoov name and website but it is a new company, has a new owner, new leadership and a new team.
We did not purchase any of the Emoov business, we didn’t acquire any of the financial or contractual liabilities, customer database, listings or staff of the previous Emoov business.
The remaining data and listings had already been sold to a private company. For this reason, we hold no company information pre-December 2018 on customers or have any way to assist Emoov investors who invested in the former Emoov business who we advise to contact the administrator James Cowper Kreston.
Well, what if I am already an Emoov customer. What happens to me?
Fear not .We will look after you! Customers who signed up to Emoov or Tepilo (between 1 January 2018 and 1 December 2018) and prepaid the fixed fee to the previous management and did not get the services they paid for can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to have their property re-listed until it is sold. (T+Cs apply and are outlined in an email that we will send previous customers).
Okay, that’s a lot of info. Let’s back up a bit. Who or what is Mashroom exactly?
Mashroom is a peer-to-peer residential property management platform, which will transform the way people find, move to and manage their homes. We will be launching in March.
Who is behind it?
Only the best proptech geeks and real estate experts in the world!(Okaay, in our opinion!). We are a British proptech company with a highly skilled international team based out of London. We come from different backgrounds, from real estate to tech to venture capital to social media, but we all share the same values and principles. We want to make home changes happy for everyone, now and in the future.
Our Mashroom mission is to connect and empower a strong community of home buyers and sellers who value transparency, trust, speed, service and cost efficiency. — Stepan.
We will put up some team pics and profiles on the site soon but feel free to poke around LinkedIn in the meantime!
What made a startup company purchase the Emoov brand name and platform?
Emoov was the second largest UK online estate agency in the UK, with only Purplebricks outperforming them. Over the last eight years, they gained a positive reputation with their fixed-fee, no branch model aimed at making selling homes that little bit easier for everyone.
AllAgents named them the UK’s number one hybrid agency for three years running. The company also received plenty of media coverage as it disrupted the UK property industry and helped break the hold of high-street estate agents.
Ok, but if Emoov is so awesome, how did it get into financial trouble?
Their strategy was underpinned by an aggressive marketing outreach, which led to plenty of exposure but also came at a high cost. The focus was on maximising growth to get more investment, rather than targeting the bottom line of the company.
While exposure helped put eyes on the Emoov brand and build its reputation, it wasn’t a sustainable business model and subsequently saw them fall into financial trouble. In December 2018, the previous Emoov business entered voluntary administration and was purchased by us at Mashroom shortly after.
What makes you so sure that Emoov will work the second time around?
The route Emoov took, focusing heavily on fast growth via high marketing spend was commendable but, ultimately, not successful. Now that Emoov has a presence within the industry, it’s time to improve the business model with a focus on community, service and innovative tech.
Do you really think the Emoov name still carries any weight?
Yes! Emoov has an impressive eight-year history and was one of the first and largest hybrid estate agencies in the UK.
Stepan, “I don’t believe Emoov going into voluntary administration means an end to its pioneering story. This is the start of a new chapter for the company and the industry. I believe an unencumbered, wiser and innovative Emoov is in the perfect position to develop that business model. The future of the property market is digital, and it is in the hands of empowered customers connected by community and data.”
Nicely said! But does Emoov’s predicament shine a light on bigger problems in the industry?
It depends on how you look at it. There is no doubting the issues the UK property market currently finds itself in, yet bricks and mortar will always play an integral role in the economy — even during bad patches. Brexit hasn’t helped and has left many people uncertain about what the future will hold.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, especially for online platforms. Consumers continue to demand transparency, connection, control and digitised solutions that yield instant results. Online agents are starting to gain trust and market share, signalling a brighter outlook.
Proptech companies like ours have continued to prosper, with 36 per cent exceeding customer expectation in terms of customer growth, and it’s the residential market (70 per cent) that is responsible for their success.
Are Emoov and Mashroom going to merge? An EMash, perhaps. Or even a Moovroom?
We certainly like the EMash name, but both brands will operate separately from each other, though there will be a synergy between the two. As the property industry delves deeper into digital, our goal is to offer a customer-centric service that addresses the pain points of the many sellers, buyers, renters and landlords in the UK.
Through innovative tech and a community-based approach, we believe that Mashroom and Emoov will help recalibrate how things are done in the UK property market.
And that can only benefit the customer.
The new Emoov launched on January 2019. The official launch of Tepilo and Mashroom will follow shortly.