The online estate agent eMoov is drawing up plans to join the ranks of quoted rivals spurred by the soaring valuation of Purplebricks, the market leader.
Sky News has learnt that eMoov has approached a number of investment banks in recent weeks to discuss a potential stock market listing before the end of the year.
Insiders said on Monday that eMoov’s plans could involve a conventional initial public offering or reversing its business into an existing listed vehicle.
A listing of eMoov would underline continued investor interest in the online estate agency sector as OnTheMarket, a portal which competes with Zoopla and Rightmove, also prepares to go public.
It would also, however, highlight the extraordinary lead that Purplebricks has built up in the sector, with a market valuation that stood at just over £1bn during Monday’s trading session.
Announcing a £9m fundraising last month which valued eMoov at £40m, its founder and chief executive, Russell Quirk, said:
“The estate agency space is changing drastically and we have always been at the forefront of that change since we launched in 2009.
“We’ve been more considered than some in our methodology and therefore, we will emerge and remain as one of the few estate agency disruptors that are actually sustainable.”
eMoov believes its hybrid model, which promise homeowners cost-savings from marketing their property online while also offering other related services, gives it an advantage in a sector projected to grow to £5bn in annual revenues by 2020.
The company has told prospective investors that its cost of service is falling sharply, and is forecast to decline from £484 per listing last year to £408 in 2018.
It also expects to increase its listing price point from £795 this year to £995 next year.
Sources said that eMoov was forecasting that it would record earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of nearly £2m in 2018, with £3.6m of losses predicted this year.
Other rivals in the sector include HouseSimple and Yopa, which recently unveiled a £25m fundraising backed by the publisher of the Daily Mail and LSL Property, the Newcastle-based owner of YourMove.
Mr Quirk declined to comment on the plan for eMoov to list on the stock market.