Is it game over for Proptech Purplebricks as share price drops 67% in a year?
On the 3rd of May 2022, Purplebricks had a share price of 20.23p, today it is only 6.5p a share, which is a whopping two thirds collapse in share price in 12-months. The embattled online agent may wish it was July 2017, when its share price was close to 500p, so what has gone so badly wrong?
Well in a digitally speeding world, with AI now seeming to be an unstoppable force, the concept of selling your home with less humans and more technology, seemed a good idea. But adoption is all, and Purplebricks failed to get vendor uptake.
Instead it satisfied only a niche property seller, the 10% of sellers who wanted a cheap fee, which meant that growth of Purplebricks is forever limited due to its DNA.
True it generated hundreds of millions of revenue in listing fees, the pay upfront model, but as many Proptech marvels, it burnt and still does burn far more in costs each month than it generates in profit.
And profit is important, because following the SVB debacle, now all investors are looking long and hard at Proptech players, especially marketplace models and wondering if they should throw more cash into the casino, or draw a line under what has become a very expensive vanity project.
The acute problem for Purplebricks is that it is looking to sell itself, at a time it has a CEO in place with no industry experience, a whole raft of key staff exiting, a class legal action looking likely, and revenue dwindling, as 2023 has been the year of less instructions for all agents.
Any new buyer of Purplebricks has to first stump up £20m to buy it, then it would need another £15m to nurse it through the next year as each month it losing cash.
But more importantly a new buyer has to spend even more cash trying to get it into the black, at a time of super high inflation, interest rates likely to hike twice more in coming months, and the CALC.
Just as Doorsteps another online agent who promised to sell your home for £99, and instead went South owing half a million, when it comes to selling property, if the general public are not ready for a digital journey, you cannot force them.
One of the supposed contenders named as a buyer of Purplebricks is Strike, a cyborg style agent, part onliner, part real agent, but it too has burnt through tens of millions and failed to show a profit, also its core model is free to list, the anthesis of the Purplebricks pay upfront sale or no sale. So it is hard to see the fit here.
It may be telling that Axel Springer who has a lion’s share of the Purplebricks has to this point not looked to be the controlling force, maybe if no suitors are found it will have to look at the multi-millions it has squandered and decide if it is a post SVB moment and draw a line through it, or step back into the casino with more cash.
Tlyfe helps tenants be first in line when new rental is available
Tlyfe is an app that empowers tenants to be first in line when a new tenancy becomes available on a home they want to rent. It is like going to Disney World and having the golden ticket that gets you front of the queue.
Lots of tenants, but very few properties to rent.
Adam Pigott, CEO of Openbrix comments that, ‘The problem that Tlyfe solves is tenants want to be top of the list with letting agents or private landlords, when a new rental becomes available but there are multiple tenants and only one property – so who do you choose?’
Tlyfe is a tenancy lifecycle Ap which puts tenants back in control of the rental process, rather than being a passive passenger.
It is a 60-day pass that tells all stakeholders ‘select me’ to be your new tenant as I stand out head and shoulders above everyone else. I am a pre-qualified, credit checked, and tenant ready to sign and move in. So landlords get a great tenant and they get the property want to live in fast.
The app has verified digital ID verification, right-to-rent checks, low-cost tenant loan solutions, an interactive move in process, and a digital record of rent paid, building a tenant’s credit score. It is not about referencing people, Tlyfe is a tenant passport that proves to anyone who has sight of it the value of the tenant, it builds a community of trust.
Most importantly, all the Tlyfe data belongs to the tenant and stays portable, being shown only when the tenant wants to. It means that people can go and view a property and if it fits, they show the landlord or letting agent Tlyfe and it proves they are a perfect tenant. It even removes the need for the letting agent to do the referencing.
Tlyfe also stores all of the tenants documents for them and with a tie up with the TDS allows tenants to view and manage the return of their deposits at the end of the tenancy.
The user experience of the Tlyfe is all built around the tenant, for example the Digital ID verification, all happens without tenants having to leave their home or risk losing ID documents in the post. To ensure Tlyfe is aligned with government policy, many of the features has been made following discussions with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).
There is a tiny £12 cost to use Tlyfe Ap, with all its features including the best chance of securing their next rental property by using Tlyfe’s pre-Qualification tool to become a ‘Rent Ready’ tenant. Sharing the results with your letting agent or prospective landlord to secure priority viewings.
Andrew Stanton, founder of Proptech-PR, ‘A consultancy for Proptech Founders’ adds:
“Over the years I have been lucky enough to see Adam Pigott CEO of Openbrix and his team develop their tlyfe offering which centres on tenants being able access and view their tenancy deposits, plus a number of other features which are hosted from other topflight rental service focused technology companies. I may seem biased as Openbrix was one of our original clients, but their technology thanks to co-founder and CIO Shahad Choudhury is second to none.
Proptech and Property News in association with Estate Agent Networking.
Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.