Movehut, the commercial property portal once tipped to be the next Rightmove which at one point had Rightmove founder Harry Hill as its chairman and was backed by TV presenter Carol Vorderman, has had most of its assets sold off by the administrators for £55,000.
The payment, by a company linked to the website’s founder Gary Stuart, includes £20,000 for its customer database, £2,500 for fixtures and fittings at its Newcastle-under-Lyme offices and £12,500 for the intellectual property attached to its software including the website and domain name, and £5,000 for its existing customers contracts.
Unsecured creditors are owed £207,900 says administrator Kevin Lucas of Lucas Johnson Insolvency Practice, who also says Movehut Ltd will soon move from administration to liquidation.
Movehut launched in the early noughties and by early 2013 was claiming to be the largest commercial property website in the UK with over 100,000 listings and soaring web traffic. It also had plans for an AIM listing that would have valued the company at £10m.
But then the Movehut story began to fall apart. Harry Hill (pictured, left) and Chief Executive Justin Bates left the company in October 2013 and, although Carole Vorderman fronted ads for Movehut in 2014, it struggled to monetise its customers which included many estate agents with commercial properties to sell.
Movehut was also facing competition from several other commercial property portals including, most recently, a start-up called Harness Property Intelligence headed-up by a former Telefonica executive, which last month announced it had received £3 million in seed funding prior to its full launch, the largest initial seed investment in a proptech company ever made in the UK, the company claims.
According to Property Week Movehut’s administrators approached both Rightmove and ZPG during its search for a buyer, but the winning bid came from the founding family.