PropertyNZ (better known as Homes.co.nz) is on a mission to help Kiwis make smarter property decisions.
The Homes.co.nz team recently chatted to us about their latest milestone – investment from Spark that will bankroll their grand expansion plans – and how they find working with Simmonds Stewart.
Homes.co.nz is the brainchild of John Holt and Jamie Kruger (each serial entrepreneurs in their own right) and Michael Gibbs (Homes.co.nz’s Head of Data). Outside the co-founders, the wider Homes.co.nz team also boasts a wealth of experience in the tech industry.
Homes.co.nz went live in 2015, with a focus on property values and the real estate market (making much of the data available to the NZ public for the first time). Phase 2 of the Homes.co.nz team’s grand plan will see that platform expand to include more tools, calculators and information, aimed at helping Kiwi homeowners manage, maintain, and enhance the value of, their properties.
The first challenge the Homes.co.nz team faced before the site could go live was extracting property sales transaction data from New Zealand’s councils.
With access to that data secured (a 2 year process), and the website up and running, the challenge since 2015 has become executing their ambitious expansion plans. Which requires risk-management, prioritisation, the right people, and (of course) funding.
Spark’s purchase of a minority stake in Homes.co.nz not only validates Homes.co.nz’s current offering as a property data platform, it also solves the funding challenge. With Spark’s investment, the team can focus on execution, without having to worry about where the capital for that innovation is going to come from.
Simmonds Stewart has worked with each of John and Jamie over the years on their separate entrepreneurial ventures, and has been working with Homes.co.nz since 2014. Most recently, Andrew and Fiona helped Homes.co.nz negotiate and close Spark’s investment over a 3-week period in April.
With formidable experience in the tech industry, the Homes.co.nz team has high expectations for their lawyers. According to John, Simmonds Stewart is highly competent, responsive and useful – three values the Homes.co.nz team prize above all else. Simmonds Stewart’s expansive knowledge of, and experience in, the tech industry means they can offer up-to-date advice about what works and what doesn’t. They can jump straight to the relevant risks, and the ways to mitigate those risks, so we’re able to start the material conversations further ahead.
During the Spark transaction, the team also valued Simmonds Stewart’s approach to negotiations – they recognized – and most importantly focused on – what was important.
Homes.co.nz sees the platform as a unique, useful resource for all Kiwis, to transform the way they make property-related decisions. Simmonds Stewart looks forward to seeing what Spark’s capital injection will bring, as the team execute that vision.
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