UK-based startup Searchland has just raised about €2.67 million (£2.3 million) for its solution to the housing crisis. The young proptech company has developed an innovative platform for land sourcing and now plans to expand.
As our global population grows and the size of our cities continues to expand, there’s one problem facing the private and public sectors alike – a lack of housing. From the UK to Spain, a housing crisis is unfolding with prices rising, standards of building falling and there simply not being enough adequate spaces for people to live.
In the UK, amidst a scarcity of land for development, property companies are using over thirty data resources to assess the development potential of a site. As a result, the process of securing viable off-market sites is a slow, fragmented and complex task. Faced with higher site and build costs, developers also now need to be more confident in their margins. This is all contributing to the ongoing problem of a lack of supply of new homes.
Searchland, a startup founded by Mitchell Fasanya, co-founder and CTO of influencer marketing agency FanBytes (acquired by Brainlabs), land planner Hugh Gibbs, data scientist Arthur Goodhart and computer scientist Archie Kennedy-Dyson, is on a mission to address the housing problem. It’s just secured new funding and is set to grow.
- €2.67 million (£2.3 million) raised in seed funding
- The round was led by Fuel Ventures
- Comes after participation in the Geovation Accelerator Programme in spring 2021 – a programme for proptech startups with grant funding and support backed by HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey.
Based in the UK, Searchland aims to turbocharge land-sourcing processes and help developers build more homes with its next-gen platform.
The proptech startup brings property developers into the digital age and gives them a data-driven tool to automate time-consuming processes. It allows developers to find validate and acquire high-margin development opportunities ahead of their competitors and bring more homes to the market.
Mitchell Fasanya: “Having tried to find a site of my own to build on, I discovered there was very considerable friction in the land-sourcing process. The property industry is rich in data but it wasn’t being leveraged effectively and developers were having to trawl through a myriad of clunky databases to track down the information they needed. While modern digital tools had emerged they failed to eradicate the industry’s antiquated processes and were prohibitively expensive for the majority of developers.”
By integrating the relevant data sets, Searchland has created a platform that provides developers with the insights they need in one place. Developers can instantly uncover sites that meet specific criteria including the percentage of undeveloped land, use class and building height, as well as review key information such as planning history, ownership and constraints – all without leaving the platform. The platform also features digital workflows for other admin-heavy tasks, such as sending letters of interest to land owners to explore their willingness to sell.
Mark Pearson, founder and managing partner at Fuel Ventures: “Searchland has created a very powerful and highly scalable product that is set to become the industry standard for land sourcing thanks to its customer-driven approach and pace of innovation. We were very impressed by the team and were keen to lead the current round with a significant ticket.”
Founded in 2020, the company has enjoyed significant traction and onboarded customers such as Places for People, Galliford Try and Aster Group.
Searchland will use the new funds to integrate additional datasets and further automate land-sourcing processes so they can rapidly find, validate and acquire off-market sites for development.
Mitchell Fasanya: “In less than a year we’ve built the most sophisticated platform for land sourcing and we have a conversion rate of 70-80%. Ultimately we want to offload all of the admin-heavy tasks for developers so they can focus on what they do best – building homes. This funding round will allow us to accelerate product development and advance further ahead of the competition.”