A former Rightmove executive who launched a platform to help holiday home owners list their properties on Airbnb is asking investors for £75,000 to help grow his fledgling business via crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
Shameem Golamy, who ran Rightmove’s overseas property operation for nearly seven years and helped grow it into one of Europe’s largest holiday home selling sites, left in 2014 and moved to Norfolk where he’s been working as a consultant.
This has included work for online agency Doorsteps as well as setting up a rival to Rightmove Overseas, Properstar.
Golamny is now concentrating on Holiday Online, which is initially operating in Norfolk but plans to use the money to roll out its service across the UK. The company takes property listings from holiday homes and uploads them to Airbnb and Booking.com, for a fee.
Holiday Online aims to be a rural and coastal version of existing Airbnb management companies such as Hostmaker and Airsorted and has told investors it has achieved a turnover of £11,000 so far, and expect to make £1,000 in commission a year for each property it lists.
In its sales pitch to investors Homes Online claims the Norfolk holiday homes market is worth £2 million a year and the wider UK market some £200 million.
“Five years ago I was working in the Home Counties and working for Rightmove and at that point I assumed everybody had heard of Airbnb,” says Golamy.
“But when I moved to Norfolk I realised this wasn’t the case.”
Holiday Online is offering investors just over 10% of itself and has already raised £42,348 mainly from existing friends of the business, and has two months to raise the remaining cash. The fundraise will value the company at £650,000.