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Purplebricks CEO reveals he spent life savings to get firm off the ground

Michael Bruce says investors were reluctant to put money into the then start-up until he showed the colour of his own money.

Nigel Lewis

Purplebricks founder Michael Bruce cashed in his life savings to finance the company’s start-up, it has been revealed.

The 44-year-old has said during an interview with a US business magazine that he struggled to raise finance to get the company off the ground during its early years until he invested his personal savings in Purplebricks.

Investors liked the fact that he had invested so much of his own money and clearly had far more to lose than they did, he tells the magazine, because it suggested to investors that he would work hard to make the business a success.

Bruce also reveals during the interview that he worried during the company’s pre-launch development period whether the technology he had paid to be developed would work, or whether he could persuade enough estate agents to become LPEs in the UK.

Share sold

Bruce no longer has any money worries, though. In April this year he sold 4.4 million of his shares in the company for £16 million to German media firm Axel Springer.

His comments come as the company’s share price continues to plummet, reaching £1.28p a share during trading on the AIM stockmarket on Friday, down from £1.80p a week before.

The crash in its stock was prompted by gloomier-than-expected figures within its latest results, which cover the six months to 31st October 2018.

They revealed that its group losses had almost doubled from £11.4 million during the equivalent period last year to £27.3m this year, and that its forecast revenue for the full year would be £175 million, down from £185 million.

December 17, 2018

One comment

  1. I used my life savings and a student loan to start my company. I don’t have as much to play with as PB then or now 😂

    We’re doing well though

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