OpenRent, UK’s online letting service which let more than 15,000 properties last year, has announced a multimillion pound media-for-equity partnership with Northern & Shell Ventures. Northern & Shell, as it is known, are part of the independently owned UK media group which owns Express Newspapers, The Health Lottery and OK! magazine.
Founded in 2012, OpenRent provides a full suite of services to landlords and tenants, providing property advertising, tenancy creation and management tools as a value-driven alternative to high street letting agents. With prices starting from £29 the business is targeting the two million plus landlords in the UK with a better-than-high-street service that is cheaper, more flexible and more efficient.
Even though the financial terms were not disclosed, the investment will be used to fund a nationwide TV campaign as well as supporting advertising in N&S publications. On the topic, OpenRent’s co-founder Adam Hyslop said:
“We are delighted to have found the right partner in Northern & Shell Ventures whose entrepreneurial culture was evident from the first meeting. 94% of our customers rate us 5/5 on review sites such as Trustpilot and Google, and the conversion rate of landlords who hear about us is extremely high so what we wanted was a partner who can bring us to a wide audience, and help us tell the 2m landlords in the UK that there is an alternative to the high- fees, low-service culture of the high street.”
On the other side, Richard Martin, Commercial Director of Northern & Shell Group said:
“Customers are increasingly looking to the internet for services that are not only better, but also cheaper and more efficient, than the services offered by letting agencies on the high street. Without that cost base OpenRent is well-placed to offer a stand-out service and our media portfolio will help them build a brand that represents transparency and simplicity as a key differentiator. “