On­line es­tate agent that was home to 140 staff shuts down

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Jack Torrance

ALL 140 staff at Emoov were ex­pected to be given their march­ing or­ders last night af­ter the on­line es­tate agent col­lapsed into ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The start-up, which had en­gi­neered a £100m three­way merger with ri­vals Tepilo and Ur­ban.co.uk just six months ago and had been eye­ing an IPO next year, went un­der on Mon­day evening af­ter run­ning into cash flow is­sues and strug­gling to find a buyer. Rus­sell Quirk, its founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive, told Prop­erty

Week: “All staff, in­clud­ing me, are ex­pect­ing to be laid off to­day.”

The loss-maker, which charged home sell­ers a fixed up­front fee rather than the com­mis­sion levied by tra­di­tional es­tate agents, had put it­self up for sale last month.

Ad­min­is­tra­tors at James Cow­per Kre­ston said they would at­tempt to sell off Emoov’s prop­erty list­ings that had re­ceived in­ter­est from po­ten­tial buyers but that they “ex­pect to close down trad­ing ac­tiv­i­ties”.

Back­ers in­clud­ing me­dia ty­coon Richard Des­mond and for­mer Dragons’ Den in­vestor James Caan will be nurs­ing losses.

On­line agents have grown rapidly by un­der­cut­ting high street ri­vals but have re­ceived mixed re­views from home sell­ers.

Mr Quirk and James Cow­per Kre­ston could not be reached for com­ment on the job losses.

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