Praetura leads £6m investment round in property sector disruptor
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Manchester-based Praetura Ventures has led a £6m investment funding round in Coadjute, the London-based blockchain network for the UK property market that aims to transform the ease and speed of home purchasing.
Coadjute is a blockchain network that enables the existing software used by estate agents, conveyancers, mortgage brokers and lenders to become interoperable, enabling the parties involved in a property transaction to synchronise and share progress updates, property information, digital identities and even payments.
The network aims to create a seamless journey with improved security for all parties, transforming the experience for buyers and sellers, reducing administration costs and cutting the time it takes to move house by up to 50%.
The first live transaction was announced earlier this year: A four-bedroom bungalow in Kent, which went live on the network in July 2021 and completed in just nine weeks. Since then, Coadjute has announced a string of major software players joining the network and today nearly 70% of all estate agents are using a platform that will be connected to Coadjute.
Pressures in the UK property market remain high following post-pandemic demand. The UK’s average time to complete on a property sits at five months, with 30% of all deals falling through before exchange of contracts, costing home movers £2,900 on average.
The ONS released figures in August 2021 revealing that growing demand is driving property price increases to peaks even beyond those seen before the 2008 financial crash.
As demand continues to increase, capacity and cost will continue to compromise the property ecosystem. The process of property purchase is significantly complicated by the number of parties involved, all using different systems. Chasing for updates, waiting on legal documents and other time-consuming paper-based processes all create costs, risks, and inefficiencies.
Coadjute plans to change this by connecting the current software platforms used in the industry to each other through its blockchain network, enabling the secure, real time sharing of updates and information.
The Pre-Series A funding round follows a £1m Pre-Seed round in 2019 and a £3m Seed round last year.
Led by Praetura Ventures, the round was also supported by three US institutions: New York based blockchain specialists Collab+Currency, the world’s largest LawTech investor The LegalTech Fund, and, Miami-based FinTech investors Rocket One Capital.
As part of the round, Praetura Ventures’ operational partner, Colin Greene, will be joining as a non-executive director on Coadjute’s board.
Having previously held senior positions at Apple, including CEO of Apple Korea and leading the Apple US Consumer Retail business, Colin’s experience in one of the world’s biggest tech giants will help steer Coadjute’s future growth strategy.
He said: “The UK property market has been overdue an innovation like Coadjute for many years.
“The founders have developed something that will completely revolutionise how we buy houses in the UK and beyond. I am looking forward to supporting the outstanding team at Coadjute as they roll out and grow the network, and to helping them achieve their vision of a truly seamless property market.”
Dan Salmons, CEO of Coadjute, said: “Whilst there have been many attempts to improve the property process, at heart the challenge is that the many systems involved are not interoperable.
“Adding yet more platforms, more hubs, more databases just doesn’t solve that. Coadjute have shown we can now connect multiple existing systems to each other, securely, in real time, and since our first transaction in July the demand has been phenomenal.
“With the strong backing we have from Praetura Ventures and our other international investors we will now start to roll-out our network across the UK market. The revolution in how property transactions are done has started.”
Coadjute plans to use the funds secured to roll-out the network across the UK over the next 24 months. The funds will be used to expand sales and marketing activities and the operational team, bring mortgage brokers and lenders onto the network, and introduce new services such as the movement of digital identities, mortgage funds and property titles over the network.