Sky News is reporting that the non-executive chairman of Purplebricks, Paul Pindar, is set to invest a seven figure sum in a domestic boiler installation company which wants to adopt a similar business model to the hybrid agency.
Last summer the London-based Hometree company raised almost £2m from some of the LocalGlobe, which invest in artificial intelligence start-ups, and from DN Capital, which has backed Purplebricks.
Now Sky News understands that Hometree – which describes itself as a “next-generation energy company that will provide the services every connected home needs” – will announce this week a new funding round worth £2.9m.
Leading the investment, the broadcaster says, will be Literacy Capital, operated by Paul Pindar, the Purplebricks chairman.
Sky says Pindar’s participation is seen as significant because of his track record as an angel investor at companies such as Purplebricks and Eve Sleep, the mattress-maker. Both businesses are now listed on the London Stock Exchange, and in Purplebricks’ case its share price is today worth over 400p – some four times the original price.
Hometree operates by asking customers to undertake a telephone survey rather than having a salesperson visit; this is then backed up by video surveys on easy to use apps such as FaceTime, WhatsApp and Skype.
“By speaking to a trained expert engineer over a video call, we can give you that extra comfort that you are getting the right advice for your specific situation, without having to put you under any stress in your home” says Hometree’s marketing material.
“At the end of this call, we’ll send you a no-obligation quote outlining our expert’s recommendation. If you’re happy with your quote, we’ll schedule your new boiler installation – you’ve guessed it – whenever it’s convenient to you. With no salespeople visiting the home, we can pass the savings on to you. And we can do it all faster – a lot faster than standard in the industry” it adds.