The property services company was placed into administration last week as the true impact of the pandemic continues to bite.
Debts at Evolve had continued to grow and as they became unstable the directors of the company filed for creditors’ voluntary liquidation.
As a result the brand easyProperty.com was returned to easyGroup.
As part of that deal Evolve sold the software behind easyProperty.com and the client base to Charles Hancock, chief executive of Chelsea-based easyCapital, a provider of investment banking services and part of the easyGroup.
Hancock (pictured_ is a senior investment banker with over 30 years’ experience in international corporate finance. He has been involved with some of the most complex transactions, notably Argyll’s £2.5 billion hostile bid for Distillers against Guiness – at the time the largest take-over bid in the UK.
Staff at Evolve will be the hardest hit and thought to be in line for statutory government compensation although easyGroup says it will pay each qualifying member £2,000 as a gesture of goodwill.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (pictured), founder and chairman of easyGroup, told The Neg: “I am pleased to report that 12 former employees of evolve have already accepted and received the £2k ex gratia payment each from easyGroup.”
Trading for online agents has been tough and the pandemic has heightened those issues.”
Sam Mitchell, chief executive of Strike, told The Neg: “I’m very sorry to see the company close. easyProperty was always going to be a challenging brand to make work in estate agency.”
Asked if the likes of Strike and Purplebricks, which has seen 97% wiped off its share price in the last five years, could be next, he went on to say: “They’ve been saying that for years and yet the two most listed with brands in the UK are Purplebricks and Strike.”
After Jason Bull, chief operating officer at Evolve, announced the firms closure on LinkedIn last week he was swamped with messages of support.
Keith Burch-Lovell, head of partnerships at Mortgage Advice Bureau, replied: “Sadly this will resonate with many right now. Here at MAB central we have a number of vacancies, with many more throughout our network, please feel free to point any of you colleagues in our direction, we’d only be too pleased to help.”
Go to Publisher: Proptech Archives – The Negotiator
Author: Robyn Hall