SA startup PropertyFox acquires rival Steeple

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South African online estate agency PropertyFox has reached an acquisition agreement with Steeple, a similar business which has been in operation since 2012.

Founded in April 2016, PropertyFox allows users to buy and sell houses online, and claims to be selling houses on average 82 days faster than the national sales average.

The acquisition of Steeple will see the two agencies effectively be consolidated, with PropertyFox taking on all Steeple’s clients. The announcement follows Pam Golding Property’s acquisition of low commission agency Eazi.com last month.

Crispin Inglis, chief executive officer (CEO) of PropertyFox, said the deal would add around 100 new sellers to the startup’s platform, giving clients a wider selection of properties to choose from.

“It is a business that, like PropertyFox, prioritises customer service, and along with its excellent reputation, will add substantial value to our offering,” he said.

Inglis said PropertyFox’s digital real estate model resonates in several ways with South African homeowners looking to sell.

“The process is fully transparent, our listings look better compared to other properties on property marketing websites and statistically have been shown to generate more views for our sellers. And of course the fee in our case is only 1.5 per cent of the sales price,” he said.

Steeple CEO David de Waal said the two companies have extremely complementary business models and that he was delighted for PropertyFox to absorb the Steeple listings into its platform.

“Steeple and PropertyFox have similar online estate agency models and both our companies focus on providing a fabulous, value-for-money customer experience. We wanted to entrust our sellers to an agency that we knew would take good care of them and, more importantly, would be able to sell despite the current poor market conditions. PropertyFox was an easy choice for us because they have great people, robust systems and strong advertising,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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