Digital estate agent Strike has received £11m in funding led by Direct Line founder Sir Peter Wood and his new investment vehicle SPWOne.
Rather than charging commission or fees for selling homes Strike earns referral fees from mortgage lenders, insurance providers and conveyancing solicitors for the advice it provides sellers.
New backer Channel 4 Ventures also invested in the round as part of a media-for-equity deal, alongside existing investors Freston Ventures and Toscafund.
“The ability to sell a home for free, without paying any estate agency fees, was always going to be well received,” Sam Mitchell, Strike’s chief executive, told FTAdviser. “[We’re] committed to turning the industry on its head.”
Founded in 2007 as Housesimple, the fintech rebranded to Strike last year, having launched its ‘sell for free’ model in 2019.
To date, it claims to have sold more than £4.5bn in property and helped more than 45,000 people move home.
Registered as an appointed representative of the Mortgage Advice Bureau, its platform gives customers access to more than 12,000 mortgage deals.
The fintech describes its service as a “fully-managed sale”. As well as driving revenues through its advice channels, the company also offers sellers optional extras - such as professional video trailers or hosted viewings.
Funding will underpin the firm’s continued UK expansion, and arrived just as Strike welcomed its new chief technology officer Dan Rafferty who previously spent more than 14 years at incumbent estate agent Foxtons, where he served as chief information officer.
“We’re focused on expanding our digital-first offering through strategic investment and innovation,” said Mitchell.
Strike’s aim over the next year is to become “the largest UK estate agency brand”, having already established a presence in the North of England. Just last week, the firm expanded its ‘sell for free’ service to the Midlands.
Wood, who also sold GoCompare.com late last year, thinks his latest investment Strike and its ‘sell for free’ “has considerable potential”.
“Strike’s clarity of proposition and innovation captured our attention,” Wood continued. “The business’s approach to moving home, supporting customers at each and every stage of their transaction and experience, resonated with us.”