Octopus Investments, Jon Moulton & Ed Wray combine to back property venture

Property Partner enables people to invest in individual residential properties, just as they can in company stocks. They then receive a monthly rental income — and benefit from any capital growth — in direct proportion to their ownership. The platform also enables investors to offer their property holdings for sale via a designated secondary market.

Property Partner has brought simplicity and transparency to a residential property market that has traditionally had high barriers to entry. Its launch follows a £1.25m seed funding round involving Octopus Investments (backers of Zoopla), Jon Moulton (founder of Alchemy Partners and Better Capital) and Ed Wray (co-founder of Betfair and Director of Funding Circle).

One of the UK’s most experienced residential property professionals, Robert Weaver, is joining Property Partner as Director of Property. Robert was formerly with the Royal Bank of Scotland where he was Global Director of Residential Investment. Prior to that, Robert was Fund Manager at Invista Real Estate Investment Management, running a £500m residential property portfolio.

Robert’s deep understanding of the residential property market will complement the senior team’s experience in tech, finance and marketing.

So how does it all work? Property Partner identifies locations and individual properties that are likely to be attractive to investors. Property Partner then lists each property on its platform with the resources prospective investors need to arrive at an informed decision: photos, floor plans, a report and valuation from the chartered surveyors, title report from the lawyers and financial information, such as predicted income.

Investors can choose to invest in a property with as much or as little as they like. When the transaction closes, they jointly own the property with any other investors in the same property and receive their share of rental income each month.

The company says that Property Partner investors can realise any capital gains by offering their investment for sale to others on the platform at any time. After five years, the platform also gives everyone the option to exit at market value, even the investor who put the least amount of money into the property.

Property Partner say that they have already successfully funded one property, a three-bed Victorian house in Croydon, South London, as part of its ‘beta’ launch to a closed group. The funds to purchase the property were raised in 21 days from 148 investors. ‘Resale’ shares in the Croydon property are now available on Property Partner’s site.

The other properties currently available to investors on Property Partner are a two-bed house in Hounslow, West London, and a two-bed flat within a warehouse conversion in Whitechapel, walking distance from the City of London.

Additional properties will be added to the platform in the very near future. In the longer term, Property Partner intends to offer properties not just in the UK but internationally.

Daniel Gandesha, CEO, Property Partner, commented: “Time and time again I wanted to invest in residential property in a particular area. I would see nice coffee shops starting to pop up, steady increases in the number of estate agents setting up shop, regeneration plans being approved – but still didn’t make the step. The reality is that buying a residential investment property is more like starting a business than making a simple investment.

“We set out to make investing in residential property as easy as buying shares. We’ve overcome significant financial, regulatory and technical challenges to make this a reality and the strong demand for our first property reinforces my belief that we have built something investors really want.

“We have the backing of heavyweight angel investors and the VC firm that backed Zoopla. We’ve just recruited Jalin Somaiya from Google, as our COO, and Robert Weaver from RBS. Rob is one of the UK’s leading residential property professionals. He’s managed a fund that held half a billion pounds of residential property and gave the keynote at the RICS conference last year. This is a great team and we believe we’re offering something truly unique to investors.”