Real estate disruptor pulls back from US market

by Steve Randall10 May 2019

There’s a seemingly endless flow of real estate startups hoping to disrupt the brokerage model and become the next Zillow or Redfin.

But one recent addition to the US housing industry has found it tough to make its mark and has announced that it will be scaling back its operations and reviewing its growth plan.

PurpleBricks, a British-based company that launched in its home country in 2012, expanded to the US in 2017 with an initial launch in Los Angeles before announcing in February 2018 that it would be launching in the New York market.

The firm then said in March 2018 that it was speeding up its expansion with a $71 million investment in the US market and a faster-than-expected launch in New York.

That all changed this week as the firm’s co-founder and CEO left to be replaced by the COO; it announced it was exiting the Australian market altogether citing poor performance; and the review of US operations.

Significant progress
In a statement, PurpleBricks said that although “good progress has been made in launching our brand across the US, the Board has materially cut investment in marketing and other overheads to reduce expenditure to sustainable levels and begun a strategic review.”

New CEO Vic Darvey said the firm has made significant progress in building a disruptive brand in the US.

“Our proposed strategic review will allow us to determine how we deliver the next phase of growth in a more effective and cost efficient way,” he said.