Jul 14, 2021

Bamboo Auctions secures £1.1m funding and lists on Rightmove

property
Technology
online
Auctions
Dominic Ellis
3 min
RO Capital Partners has co-led a £1.1m funding round together with the Cass Enterprise Fund in online auction company Bamboo Auctions

RO Capital Partners, the RO Group’s investment arm, has co-led a £1.1m funding round together with the Cass Enterprise Fund in Bamboo Auctions, which provides online auction technology to estate agents and auction houses. The round was supported by follow on capital from existing investors and new angel investors.  

Launched in 2015, Bamboo Auctions’ technology allows properties to be sold with immediate and legally binding contracts.  Its marketplace makes transactions faster, more certain, and more transparent. The business has continued to grow quickly since inception with over 1,000 properties, representing a total value of over £200m, having been sold using Bamboo’s platform in the last 12 months. Customers of Bamboo include Clive Emson, Stags, Bradleys, Hunters and Webbers. 

Bamboo will use the growth capital to invest further in its technology to ensure it remains the best in the market, as well as introducing new features and partnership integrations. It will also be deployed in intelligent advertising and marketing to drive further sales growth; as well as maintaining the company’s high level of customer service.

Robin Rathore, Founder and Director, Bamboo Auctions, said the average property transaction takes around 20 weeks, but using its technology, agents can reduce this time to just five weeks. "The speed and certainty that our technology brings to the transaction has given our agent customers an invaluable advantage in the market, not just because it has allowed them the space and time to sell properties during periods of lockdown, but also because it has helped to increase the number of instructions, increase the number of sales, and increase average fees overall.

“Auctions are evolving, and Bamboo is at the centre of this movement.  We are continuously innovating, and by listening to our agent customers, we are focusing on making our core service the best in the market."

The arrangement with Rightmove means that properties listed by agents through Bamboo’s platform will automatically be tagged as an auction property and will have up to date timer and bid status. Agents will also benefit from additional calls to action and clearer, more standardised information on each property listing page.

Edward Rowlandson, Group Managing Director, the RO said it launched RO Capital Partners in April 2021 to invest in active, early stage tech businesses and proptech was a key market, given its wider real estate experience. “We are hugely excited by Bamboo, its offering, and its use of technology to innovate the real estate market," he said. 

Steve White, Group Commercial Director, the RO added: “The online auction market has seen significant growth during the past year, and we are excited to be investing at such a pivotal stage in Bamboo’s journey as they experience tremendous growth and fast uptake by estate agents and auction houses who are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of the Bamboo offering.”

Helen Reynolds, MD and Investment Director of the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, said: “We have been impressed with the skills and expertise of the Bamboo CEO and his team and the strong relationships built thus far with customers and partners. We look forward to working with Robin through the next stage of Bamboo’s growth and supporting the company’s success.”

The pandemic and lockdowns gave a major spur to online property auctions - although they account for only 2% of all sales. 

BidX1 doubled its UK sales year-on-year, with £108m-worth of property sold in 2020, up from £52m in 2019. The firm recorded 6,980 bids on UK property in 2020, resulting in the sale of more than 320 assets, with bidder numbers increasing by more than 200% (click here). It formed a strategic partnership with London estate agency Foxtons.

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Jul 29, 2021

BT and Microsoft unveil strategic partnership

BT
Microsoft
construction
Technology
Dominic Ellis
3 min
BT and Microsoft launch strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services

BT and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services in sectors from digital manufacturing to health.

BT has already been named one of the first development partners for Microsoft Operator Connect and Operator Connect Conferencing. The renewed agreement will allow BT to build on this relationship and offer its own branded global managed voice services directly through Microsoft Teams, with an approach that further enhances customer experience and creates new opportunities for growth. 

The strategic partnership will build on BT’s existing portfolio of cyber security services built on Microsoft technology. It will see the companies push forward with the design and launch of a new generation of managed security services to enable and protect the modern collaborative workplace. BT will work closely with Microsoft to develop distinct security propositions to defend customers’ operations across the cloud as well as its own IT estate.

Sustainability and collaboration on digital skills are integral to the partnership. BT and Microsoft will work together on further enhancing sustainability credentials within their supply chains and join forces on promoting digital skills in the communities.

“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community.”

Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, said: “BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. By aligning our visions for communication, connectivity, security and digital technology, Microsoft and BT will support real growth for businesses across the world.”

Microsoft's vision is to transform construction and built environment businesses with design innovation, a supply chain you can control, and a connected, safer, more productive workforce.

Microsoft recently unveiled strong results for the quarter ending June 30:

  • Revenue totalled $46.2 billion, up 21%
  • Operating income was $19.1 billion, up 42%
  • Net income was $16.5 billion, up 47%
  • Diluted earnings per share was $2.17, up 49%

For the year, revenues totalled $168.1 billion (up 18%), operating income hit $69.9 billion (up 32%), net income was $61.3 billion GAAP and $60.7 billion non-GAAP, and increased 38% and 37%, respectively.

“We are innovating across the technology stack to help organizations drive new levels of tech intensity across their business,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years.”

In a trading update last month, BT reported profit after tax £2m, down £446m, due to a "one-off tax charge in the quarter to reflect the remeasurement of deferred tax balances following the enactment of the new UK corporation tax rate of 25% from April 2023".

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