Countrywide plc has capitalised on the growth of the UK rental market and significantly increased its regional footprint.
Over the past five years Countrywide has invested over £80 million in acquiring over 100 lettings businesses throughout England and Scotland. During that period, Countrywide has opened over 100 offices in a number of key town and city locations.
In celebration of succeeding more than 100 acquisitions during that period of time, Countrywide Residential Lettings held a celebratory boat trip last week. The boat trip launched from Embankment Pier, London and began with a Champagne reception followed by a River Thames tour of London Countrywide employees enjoyed a gala dinner.
Commenting on the event, John Hards, Managing Director, Countrywide Residential Lettings: “Countrywide has a unique ability to grow businesses by ensuring they operate autonomously, retain their local heritage and benefit from Countrywide’s ongoing investment and support.
“We have built a very strong and successful network of branches in the UK, via strategic acquisitions and new branch openings and we are delighted to be able to celebrate ‘100 Deals’. We would like to thank DWF legal businesses who sponsored the event.
“Countrywide Residential Lettings value the importance of all our acquisitions and it is important to us that we work with and develop all our brands professionally and with care. Events such as these recognise the determination and continued hard work of our employees.”
Meanwhile, Countrywide plc has agreed significant investment in Europe’s first property innovation focused fund, Pi Labs, bringing the total investment of the fund to more than £320,000.
Pi Labs was created in October 2014 through a strategic partnership between global real estate adviser Cushman & Wakefield and venture capitalists Spire Ventures.
Countrywide plc has stated their intention to back innovation in the property sector and agreed to invest a significant amount in the Pi Labs fund. The fund is hosted on Seedrs, which is an equity crowdfunding platform that allows members of the public to invest alongside institutional investors and corporate entities, such as Spire Ventures and Cushman & Wakefield, in a ready-made portfolio of companies.
Five start-ups, which were selected from over 200 business plans received, have joined the fund’s first accelerator programme of 2015, with another cycle scheduled for later this year. Each intake will initially comprise five companies and culminate with a ‘Demo Day’ where each start-up will present to a group of London’s top investors.
Entrepreneur Faisal Butt, Founder and CEO of Pi Labs, created the three-month bi-annual programme which will provide funding, mentors and office space for the most exciting new wave of ‘proptech’ start-ups at the iconic Second Home, situated in the heart of east London’s ‘Tech City’.
Graham Bell (left), Finance Director of Countrywide plc, said: “Countrywide is excited and proud to support the UK’s first property technology accelerator. We are passionate about supporting innovation in our sector and were one of the early investors in both Rightmove and Zoopla, amongst others. We hope companies who join PiLabs will benefit from the expertise that our nationwide business has to offer, and we look forward to working with the teams to help them grow their businesses further.”