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最有看点的互联网金融门户
国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务

用预付款解决卖家资金链问题,创企Nested获1.2亿英镑融资

Nested的总部位于伦敦,是一家以数据驱动的房地产代理商,旨在为客户提供一笔预付款,帮助他们在旧房未出售前就把新房买下来。近日,Nested宣布完成1.2亿英镑(约合1.55亿美元)B轮融资,其中包括2000万英镑股权融资和1亿英镑债权融资。Northzone和Balderton Capital领投了其股权融资,而债权融资则是来自一位未具名的机构投资者。

值得注意的是,Balderton在Nested的成立过程中进行了数轮投资,而前者通常关注A轮前的早期项目。Balderton也是GoCardless的支持者,GoCardless的联合创始人正是Nested的创始人Matt Robinson。也就是说,Balderton的普通合伙人Tim Bunting很早就开始以个人身份投资Nested。

Nested于2016年底面世,通过提供出售房屋所需的所有服务,Nested与高端房地产经纪人展开了激烈竞争,但两者之间有一个关键的区别。除了处理估价、营销和销售外,Nested还会向客户提供一笔高额预付款(客户手头房产市场价格的95%),这样客户就可以在旧房销售之前购买新房。在英国脱欧并对伦敦房价造成各种不确定性之前,这个数字甚至高达97%,Nested很可能在房地产市场稳定之后重新将预付款额度提升至97%。

Nested的初衷是消除房屋买卖带来的大部分压力和不确定性,包括客户的最终预算,并确保客户永远不会陷入可怕的资金链问题中,进而错过自己心仪的房子,或者无限期地等待旧房子先卖出去。这样一来,客户在购房时就能处于最有利的地位,就后续的购房行为进行一系列谈判。Robinson透露,Nested通常能为客户节省2-4%的资金。

Nested将向客户收取2-4%的费用(加上增值税),具体则取决于客户希望收到预付款的时间,如果未能以高于其初始预付款的金额出售该物业,Nested则会收取损失费用。

当被问及到目前公司运营状况如何时,Robinson称,历史估值的准确率平均在公司预测的1.5%以内。更好的是,Nested在2018年的准确率达到100%,并且有足够的信心将这些数据公之于众。

Robinson表示:“传统代理商通常不会跟踪准确率,而线上代理商则会尽力掩盖一个事实——他们只卖出了大约40%的房产。”

迄今为止,Nested已服务了400多名业主,除了为伦敦地区以外的业主服务外,Nested还计划进一步扩大产品供应,从根本上改善销售体验。与此同时,这些售房者同时也是购房者,因此未来的服务还可以包括利用Nested的数据、技术和专业知识来帮助他们进行购买。

Robinson在一份声明中补充道:“我们很高兴能够得到一些欧洲顶级风险投资公司的支持,他们帮助我们一起解决买卖房屋这一古老问题。我们正在建立一支强大的团队,通过房地产行业最先进的技术,提供无与伦比的服务。这笔投资将使我们能够继续帮助人们轻松回家。”

Nested, the London-based “data-driven” estate agency that provides a cash advance to help you buy a new home before you’ve sold your old one, has raised a further £120 million in funding. The new round is a mixture of equity and debt: £20 million and £100 million, respectively. Leading the equity round is Northzone, and Balderton Capital, while the debt finance comes from an unnamed institutional investor.

It is noteworthy that Balderton has only just invested in Nested  several rounds into the company’s existence, considering that the London-based venture capital firm typically invests earlier at Series A. Balderton is also a backer of GoCardless, the payments company previously co-founded by Nested founder Matt Robinson. That said, Balderton General Partner Tim Bunting did invest in Nested in a personal capacity very early on.

Launched in late 2016, Nested competes with high-end estate agents by providing all of the services needed to sell your house, but with a key difference. In addition to handling valuation, marketing and sales, the startup will loan you up to 95 per cent of the market value of your property as a cash advance, that way you’re able to purchase a new home prior to your old one selling. Before Brexit and the uncertainty it has caused with regards to London house prices, that figure was up to 97 percent of the market value of the property, and I understand Nested hopes to return to that percentage once things settle down.

More broadly, the idea behind Nested is to eliminate much of the stress and uncertainty of selling and buying a home, including what your final budget will be, and also ensure that you’re never caught up in the dreaded property ‘chain’ and miss out on your desired home, or are kept in limbo indefinitely waiting for your property to sell. By becoming a cash buyer, it also puts you in the strongest possible position to negotiate on your onward purchase. Robinson says this typically sees savings of 2-4 percent.

In return, Nested charges a fee from 2-4 per cent (plus VAT) depending on how soon you want to receive the advance, and takes a loss if it fails to sell the property for an amount above its initial advance. The idea is to incentivise the startup to always try to get you the genuine market price or more.

Asked how well that is working out so far, Robinson tells me historical valuation accuracy is on average within 1.5 percent of what the company predicted. Better still, Nested is running at 100 percent accuracy for 2018 and is confident enough to make this data public.

“The traditional agents don’t even track it and the online players do their best to obscure the fact that they sell only roughly 4/10th of properties they take on i.e. most customers pay them £1,000 up-front to not sell their house and are left out-of-pocket!” says the Nested founder.

To date, Nested has helped over 400 home-owners, and, aside from increasing volume, including helping property owners outside of London, the company says it plans to further expand its product offering. The bulk of these new products will continue to target sellers to “radically improve the selling experience”. However, I understand that since sellers are buyers, too, future services could also include using Nested’s data, tech and expertise to help with the buying process as well.

Adds Robinson in a statement: “We’re excited to receive the backing from some of Europe’s top VCs who share our vision for fixing the age-old problem of buying and selling homes. We are building an incredible team to offer an unassailable service with the most progressive technology in the property industry. This investment will allow us to continue solving the problems that prevent people from moving home with ease”.

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