Tenant referencing business acquired by property tech company
A Sheffield-based business has been acquired by property technology company Goodlord.
Referencing platform Vouch will become part of the Goodlord group. Between them the two companies have more than 2,000 clients.
Goodlord CEO William Reeve will be CEO of the combined group. Vouch’s founders will become Goodlord shareholders and Vouch gains a seat on the Goodlord Board of directors.
Vouch co-founders, husband and wife team Simon and Jaime Tillyer, will continue to run the Vouch platform from its Sheffield HQ, alongside their team of 15 employees.
They retain their roles of managing director and director of operations, respectively. Vouch’s head of technology, Dan Hawkins, will continue in his role. Co-founders Kevin and Lynsey Gaskell will move on to focus on the separate family agency business, Shefflets.
Founded in 2017, Vouch offers a fixed-cost hybrid referencing solution – saving agents time without the need for outsourcing, as well as providing access to commission based revenue streams.
Set up in 2014, Goodlord’s software allows agents to manage the whole pre-tenancy process in one place, including contract generation, digital payments, referencing, insurance, and distribution of legal documents.
Both businesses are growing, with the pandemic driving increased demand across the lettings market for digitally-powered solutions that generate efficiency savings, open up new revenue streams and ensure regulatory compliance.
Together, the group will be handling over 500,000 references per year on behalf of over 2,000 letting agencies.
The Vouch platform and Goodlord platforms will retain their separate brand identities and customers will see service carry on as normal.
However, the businesses will work to develop a wider choice of services and provide interoperability between their two platforms.
Vouch customers will be able to access Goodlord products, including plans to offer access to Goodlord’s insurance products.
Together, the companies will offer agents a tiered suite of services – from one-off referencing needs to end-to-end software automation at enterprise level.
Additionally, the new group will build improved auxiliary services for tenants including enhanced utilities, broadband and media switching.
William Reeve, Goodlord CEO, said: “Together, we have the best technology in the industry, the best track record on growth, and we expect to become the market leader by the end of the year.
“We’ve been working hard to give customers a wider range of services and this merger will fast forward that process by at least 12 months. Our businesses and approach to growth are incredibly complementary.
“Jaime and Simon have built an impressive business in a very short space of time and I’m looking forward to working with them and their team on the next step of our journey.”
Simon Tillyer, MD of Vouch, said: “Vouch has grown rapidly since launching just over two and a half years ago.
“This merger is an exciting next step in our journey. We have always looked to work with the best people in the market and this tie-up will allow us to offer customers a fantastic end-to-end solution alongside our award-winning referencing platform.
“Combining forces not only gives us access to the strong support of the Goodlord team, but also supports our rapid expansion and bolsters our combined efforts to become the biggest player in the space.”
The shareholders of Vouch were advised by Investec Bank plc and Shoosmiths.