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Details emerge of Bruce brothers’ venture including Purplebricks links

Many of the senior staff at the Birmingham-based LaunchB are former employees of the hybrid agency who have jumped ship in recent months.

Nigel Lewis

launch b

More details of Michael and Kenny Bruce’s new venture LaunchB have been revealed, including its close ties to their former estate agency, Purplebricks.

Many of its hires so far have been former Purplebricks staff, several of whom have jumped ship directly from the hybrid agency to the new venture.

The highest profile of these is David Shepherd, Purplebricks’ former Chief Information Officer, who is the sole director of LaunchB and listed as its co-founder.

But another former senior Purplebricks hire is Tom Kirk, who left Purplebricks last year to join LaunchB as its Chief Product Officer. Kirk is the person with the most traditional estate agency experience on the team other than the Bruce brothers, having worked for Reeds Rains and Hunters before joining Purplebricks.

It has also become clear that the Bruce brothers have been employing their fortunes to secretly prepare their new venture for launch since at least June last year.


Other former Purplebricks employees include LaunchB’s head of engineering Stephen Richardson, who worked for Purplebricks since it started up in 2015 and technical lead Paul Matthews, who was a senior software engineer at Purplebricks for over five years before jumping ship.

Another former tech senior to get involved in the project is Indi Chahal, who is a former Purplebricks IT chief who now works for a fashion label but who has been helping LaunchB persuade more female software engineers to join the company.

LaunchB now has at least 40 staff working at its swanky new headquarters in central Birmingham who are to be joined soon by its new CEO, former Reapit boss Gary Barker.

July 16, 2020

One comment

  1. I genuinely hope that LaunchB speeds up real estate, allows an omni-channel experience for the Tik Tok Gen-Z clients, who account for half the globe’s population.

    Their big advantage is like us, they are new, we started in May 2020, so we are not constrained by any legacy models, nothing is in or out of the box, starting from scratch in the proptech/real estate industries is a brilliant ride.

    Gary Barker is no ones fool, and the Bruce Brothers in three years got a company from zero to a market capitalisation of over a £1BN. Zara says that alone is a stand out achievement, but if that was the warm up act what is LaunchB going to look like?

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