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Graham Awards


Rightmove founder Hill joins 'disruptive' Airbnb management company

The founder of Rightmove and former chief executive of Countrywide, Harry Hill, has joined a lettings start-up company called Lavanda which tries to place short let tenants into temporary void long-term rental properties.

Hill - a vocal supporter of hybrid giant Purplebricks and critic of the agency group he used to lead, Countrywide - is to become chairman of Lavanda.

The platform operates in London where it launched six weeks ago. It recently raised £1.3m in a funding round led by what it calls “a private club of high profile FTSE 100 directors and angel investors.”


The firm enters into a contract with the landlord, allowing Lavanda to manage the property and permitting sub-letting by the tenant.

“The future of residential property has the sharing economy at its heart - a truth that most traditional agents and property managers refuse to acknowledge” says Hill.

He continues: ”Lavanda is uniquely positioned to power that future, creating value through luxury hospitality, pioneering technology and proprietary data. The company has already made significant inroads, and I look forward to helping them seize further market share.”

A spokesman for Lavanda, its co-founder Guy Westlake, says the platform “unlocks a 10 per cent-plus uplift in net profits for landlords while delivering a better, more affordable experience for tenants. We create an additional layer of value that traditional agents are structurally unable to replicate.”


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