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The Exiteers | Movem

  • By Jason Stockwell

Bringing you news of successful exits in the sector

FUND: Seed Mentors Seed EIS
EXIT: Movem

What Does The Company Do?

Movem is a business that offers a platform allowing users to write reviews of letting agents, landlords and properties and build up reputations for themselves as trustworthy tenants.

Originally targeted at the student market it now extends to all tenants, landlords and letting agents. Movem is being used in every university and is publicly endorsed by more than 25 students unions as well as active in over 500 towns and cities.

The company developed a passport to save tenants money on referencing fees and focused the business very much on that aspect. It’s now very relevant because of the ban on tenants’ fees. Tenants are able to build up their own profile including recommendations from previous landlords and agencies. The Movem Passport provides the most comprehensive instant tenant reference in the market, verifying income, affordability and previous rental payments.

There is little trust in the landlord-tenant market and his helps foster it to a greater degree. That is one of its disruptive features.

It is a fraud prevention measure as well. In the first 90 days from launch, the instant referencing product sold 100,000 references. What Movem has done is found a way of meeting government policy on the way the rental market in the UK should develop, achieving a real social benefit in the process. It makes renting fairer and simpler.

How Was The Exit Achieved?

The business was acquired in September 2018 by Barbon Insurance Group for an undisclosed sum which allowed Movem to continue as a stand-alone business.

Barbon, under the Homelet and Rentshield brands, is the leading integrated tenant referencing and insurance specialist in the UK lettings sector.

How Much Was Raised?

Peter Ramsay, the founder, taught himself basic web development and created the first site, dropping out of university to pursue his idea.

The company was launched in June 2013, then relaunched in May 2017, raising funding through Seed Mentors in April 2015 totalling £137,000, In September 2016 Movem crowdfunded another £200,000 and in October 2017 crowdfunded another £400,000.

After the acquisition Ramsay stayed on as the Chief Executive with the eight strong team he built up. With the support of a larger corporate the business can reach new levels.

After the acquisition Ramsay thanked the 520 shareholders that had supported him, some with as little as £10. The fund that Seed Mentors represented have now exited with a very attractive return enhanced after applying the basic 50% tax relief in a period of just 42 months.

The Future

Movem effectively created the future of tenant referencing powered initially by the funding Seed Mentors introduced.

Movem continues to look for talented people to expand its business. The initial angel investment from the fund achieved its designed purpose and its investors now move aside.

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