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Vesta to raise GBP750k through Seedrs

Vesta, a new online marketplace for buying and selling rental property, has opened its latest equity crowdfunding round to new investors through leading European platform Seedrs.

Vesta is led by an impressive team including Chairman Bob Wigley, also Chairman of UK Finance, and CEO Russell Gould, who previously held senior roles in several successful scaled digital businesses.
The GBP750,000 fundraise will allow Vesta to further build and raise awareness of its unique online marketplace, which allows landlords to buy and sell residential investment property with tenants in place. This approach eliminates void periods (and removes uncertainty such as estimating the rental value and finding a good tenant) preserving rental income to potentially save landlords over GBP500 million a year, encourages increased stability and longer tenancies – a key Government initiative, and provides institutional access to investment property at scale. 
In the UK only 2.5 per cent of UK Private Rented Sector (PRS) is owned by institutions versus the US, Germany and the Netherlands where ownership is in excess of 25 per cent. However, the PRS is a growing GBP1.4t trillion market, and accounts for over 20 per cent of UK housing stock and circa 20 per cent of all residential property transactions each quarter.
Vesta supports sellers (developers, landlords, institutions etc) to sell properties with tenants in place to an investor audience who value income. Properties can be anything from individual units (homes, apartments) as well as blocks (broken or unbroken), portfolios, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), and they also hope to launch a “rental retirement product” and off-plan new build rental opportunities.
Launched in February 2018 and with a turnover of approximately GBP400,000 in the first 6 months, Vesta has sold over 105 properties (GBP23 million) with a further 151 properties (GBP15.5 million) sold STC and has had offers on GBP108 million (1,000 beds) of student accommodation accepted. Over 500 properties have been on-boarded with over 2,500 properties in the pipeline. Vesta’s disruptive model has already attracted industry accolades and was awarded Buy-to-Let Newcomer of the Year 2018 by Property Wire.
The GBP750k Seedrs raise is part of a wider final seed raise of up to GBP5 million. Monies raised will go towards further scaling the business growth through brand and marketing campaigns, expanding customer services, expansion of estate agency and analytical teams, product development, expansion of the in-house engineering team and extending the runway to a potential Series A fund raise and international expansion in 2019-2020.
Russell Gould, CEO, Vesta, says: “As a relatively new proptech company gaining good traction in the UK, we were attracted to the Seedrs equity crowdfunding platform because it allows both retail and institutional investors to invest in the company’s on-going success, building a broader shareholder and customer base. The popularity of the Vesta marketplace among landlords and investors since our launch earlier in the year is a strong indicator that we hold a unique position in the real estate industry and proptech space. The Seedrs capital raise of GBP750k will contribute to building out our product to provide more individual and institutional landlords with an efficient and cost-effective solution for buying and selling rental property and at the same time supporting tenants by allowing them to remain in their homes.”
“Vesta is on the radar of international groups and we have already been approached by two parties to explore licence and partnership opportunities in both North America and Asia Pacific. While slightly early for our immediate product roadmap this validates demand for a global investment property marketplace and supports our intention to build a multi-regional business of significant scale.”
The Vesta team includes a number of key players from the property and fintech world including: CMO Jeremy Farmer; ex Doddle; Asset Manager Iga Dabrow, ex Realstar and Berkley Homes; CCO Marcos Elvira; Business Development Shane Jegathjenan; Sales Tom Lloyd, ex Dexters; Senior Software Engineer Tim Reynolds, ex Trussle; Hilary Reynolds, ex Sky and Tesco and Pete Daly, previously Head of Engineering and employee #1 at Trussle, the leading mortgage robo-adviser.
The Vesta board of directors is equally as impressive including Bob Wigley, Chairman of UK Finance; Founder David Toplas of Mill Group; Chris Lacey, previously Head of Residential Capital Markets at CBRE; Rupert Robinson, previously Norges Bank Investment Management, KPMG and PWC; and Russell Gould, as well as advisors including David Ritchie, ex Bovis Homes CEO and Chris Down, former CEO of Hearthstone.

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