Rightmove CEO Peter Brooks-Johnson is to advise a fast-growing global classifieds company which operates a popular UK smartphone app with rental listings.
Scandinavian-based Schibsted, which operates UK app Shpock via its newly-created digital classifieds arm MPI, has asked Brooks-Johnson to join the new venture’s board as an interim non-exec.
Shpock, despite being marketed as a hyper-local ‘car boot sale’ app includes thousands of homes to rent.
The move by Brookes-Johnson is unusual because MPI’s app Shpock features lettings within its classified listings and suggests that Rightmove is thinking hard about how it attracts the next generation of home buyers and renters.
In July the app reached 50 million downloads worldwide and said it was investing heavily in the UK. This year it is the most popular ‘marketplace’ app in the UK with 1.8 million downloads and is to open a larger UK HQ.
MPI says the app appeals to younger mobile-savvy users happy to trade and rent via an app.
Shpock also claims to be the largest private-seller motors marketplace in the UK, and Brooks-Johnson’s advisory role would suggest it also plans to invest in property classifieds as well.
Schibsted is one of Scandinavia’s largest newspaper and online media companies and has grown fast by expanding into online listings both locally but also in Spain, the UK, Brazil, Italy, Austria, Ireland and Hungary.
It’s fast growth has persuaded Schibsted to demerge this operation from its main media company and this will now be called MPI, the board of which Brooks-Johnson will be joining.