As news on the ruling on letting agents and landlords NOT being able to refuse DSS, or Universal Credit claimants as tenants broke today, it’s timely to note that automated tenancy applications, linked to landlord insurance cover, is one service that many property owners will probably need in the future.
Leading property technology company Goodlord has announced that it will be joining forces with referencing platform Vouch, bringing the fast-growing Vouch business into the Goodlord group.
This acquisition will bring together two of the sector’s most dynamic players and create a market-leading technology business. Going forward, the 2,000+ clients of the two companies will have a wider choice of software offerings and access to a sector-leading end-to-end platform.
Goodlord CEO William Reeve will be CEO of the combined group. Vouch’s founders will become Goodlord shareholders and Vouch gains a seat on the Goodlord Board of Directors.
Vouch co-founders, husband and wife team Simon and Jaime Tillyer, will continue to run the Vouch platform from their Sheffield HQ, alongside their team of 15 employees. They retain their roles of Managing Director and Director of Operations, respectively. Vouch’s Head of Technology, Dan Hawkins, will continue in his role. Co-founders Kevin and Lynsey Gaskell will move on to focus on the separate family agency business, Shefflets.
Founded in 2017, Vouch offers a fixed-cost hybrid referencing solution – saving agents time without the need for outsourcing, as well as providing access to commission based revenue streams. Vouch has won plaudits for its platform and grown a strong customer base across the country.
Founded in 2014, Goodlord’s award-winning software allows agents to manage the whole pre-tenancy process in one place, including contract generation, digital payments, referencing, insurance, and distribution of legal documents.
Both businesses are growing at a rate of over 100% annually, with the pandemic driving increased demand across the lettings market for digitally-powered solutions that generate efficiency savings, open up new revenue streams and ensure regulatory compliance. Together, the group will be handling over 500,000 references per year on behalf of over 2,000 letting agencies.
The Vouch platform and the Goodlord platform will retain their separate brand identities and customers will see service carry on as normal. The two businesses will however work closely to develop a wider choice of services and provide interoperability between their two platforms, including the integration of their API.
Vouch customers will have the opportunity to access Goodlord products, including plans to offer access to Goodlord’s popular insurance products. Together, the two companies will offer agents a tiered suite of services – from one-off referencing needs to end-to-end software automation at enterprise level. This will ensure each letting agent can access the right combination of software, suited to their individual requirements.
Additionally, the new group will build improved auxiliary services for tenants including enhanced utilities, broadband and media switching.
William Reeve, Goodlord CEO, comments:
“We’re delighted to have the Vouch team join our group. This marks an exciting moment for both businesses and for the UK lettings sector. Together, we have the best technology in the industry, the best track record on growth, and we expect to become the market leader by the end of the year.
“We’ve been working hard to give customers a wider range of services and this merger will fast forward that process by at least 12 months. Our businesses and approach to growth are incredibly complementary.
“Jaime and Simon have built an impressive business in a very short space of time and I’m looking forward to working with them and their team on the next step of our journey.”
Simon Tillyer, MD of Vouch, comments:
“Vouch has grown rapidly since launching just over two and a half years ago. This merger is an exciting next step in our journey. We have always looked to work with the best people in the market and this tie-up will allow us to offer customers a fantastic end-to-end solution alongside our award-winning referencing platform.
“Combining forces not only gives us access to the strong support of the Goodlord team, but also supports our rapid expansion and bolsters our combined efforts to become the biggest player in the space.
“Joining the Goodlord group is a fantastic fit both culturally and commercially and we are very excited about the future.”