UK’s ‘largest letting agent by listings’ OpenRent raises £4.4m from VC firm

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » UK’s ‘largest letting agent by listings’ OpenRent raises £4.4m from VC firm previous nextAgencies & PeopleUK’s ‘largest letting agent by listings’ OpenRent raises £4.4m from VC firmLow-margin online-only agent with 4,000+ listings in the UK to use cash to expand team and develop product.Nigel Lewis6th March 201701,672 Views OpenRent, the online-only company that claims to be the largest letting agent in the UK, has secured £4.4 million in funding from a Berlin-based venture capital firm.Global Founder’s Capital, the venture arm of Rocket Internet, is the second organisation to invest in the business since 2014 when Express Newspapers and OK! Magazine owner Northern & Shell gave OpenRent an advertising deal in return for equity in the company.OpenRent has 4,237 properties on its own website but also advertises on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation and operates a low-fee basic model that’s free for landlords to use the first time, and then after that £29 for a basic package and £49 for a premium one, which includes tenant referencing, contract drafting, deposit registration and collection of rent.STANDALONE SERVICESThe company then also sells standalone services including referencing, gas safety certificate and electrical safety checks, energy performance certificates, inventory services and photos and floor plans.OpenRent says it has 640,627 registered landlords and tenants on its books, promotes itself as the “service high street agents don’t want you to know about” and says it advertised 50,000 properties last year, although it does not reveal how many of these it rented. The company says the new cash is being used to grow its team and develop its product.“We’ve evolved from a product which targeted the most painful elements of being a landlord such as finding tenants and creating a tenancy with them to become the go-to service for our customers,” co-founder Darius Bradbury (pictured, left) told Techcrunch.“This means helping them with a broader range of landlord activities, which we continue to build out”.But OpenRent is not the only proptech company Global Founder’s Capital is backing. It also invested £2 million in tenancy transaction software firm Goodlord in May last year.online only agents openrent March 6, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Baltic Sea mine warfare drill Open Spirit draws to a close

first_img Photo: Estonian Navy minehunter ENS Wambola detonates a historical mine during Open Spirit. Photo: NATO MARCOM. View post tag: Estonian Navy View post tag: OPEN SPIRIT The Estonian-hosted mine warfare drill Open Spirit concluded in the Baltic Sea on May 25.The two-week multinational naval mine clearance and ordnance disposal operation took place in two main areas – around Tallin, and around the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumma.In addition to ships from Baltic states’ navies, the exercise was joined by ships from Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1).The aim of the operation is to clear the sea lanes, international shipping routes and fishing areas from the threat posed by the explosives laid and lost in the Baltic during the First and the Second World Wars. In addition, it offers allies and partners an opportunity to train alongside each other.A total of 800 personnel, 20 different mine countermeasure ships, from 15 different countries participated in the exercise. Over the course of the exercise, a total of 39 objects were found, with 25 historic explosives being countermined.Open Spirit is organized by the navies of the Baltic States and takes place once a year on a rotational basis in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania. Last year’s Open Spirit was hosted by Latvia.SNMCMG1 currently consists of the flagship HNLMS Mercuur (Netherlands), FGS Bad Bevensen (Germany), HNoMS Otra (Norway), BNS Narcis (Belgium), HNLMS Urk (Netherlands), HMS Ramsey (United Kingdom), MCM Denmark and Portugese Navy divers.“In 2018 we have conducted search operations in Norway, off the the French coast in Normandy, and now in the Gulf of Finland off Talinn” said Commander of SNMCMG1, Commander Peter Ramboor. “We will now stay in the area as a NATO Group, because we want to show we are ready to defend and ensure the security and stability of this important region.”After concluding MCM operations off Estonia, SNMCMG1 ships headed for Latvia and a routine visit to Ventspils.center_img View post tag: SNMCMG1 Share this articlelast_img read more

Reclaim the Night march again

first_imgOxford Reclaim the Night announced on Thursday the launch of their latest campaign against sexual violence, which will be centred on a march through Oxford on Friday 7 March to allow women to ‘Reclaim the Night’ for themselves.The march will enable women to walk together through spaces in the city that they might normally avoid due to fear of violence, sexual harassment or rape. Oxford Reclaim the Night said in a statement, “The march aims to raise awareness of the scale of violence against women in our society, the need to prevent it, and the need to ensure women and girls can live free from the fear or violence.”This year, the campaign is themed around freedom. Oxford Reclaim the Night said of the theme, “We believe that women should have the freedom to express themselves and be safe in public space. Freedom to walk alone is still denied to many women, in a society in which 85,000 women are raped every year and over 400,000 women experience sexual assault.”Taking place on the evening before International Women’s Day, the march will begin at the East Oxford Community Centre and end at the Town Hall, to join the Oxford International Women’s Festival. While there will be a mixed rally at the East Oxford Community Centre to start the event, the march itself will be restricted to self-identifying women only.Kirsty Braithwaite, from the campaign, told Cherwell of the march, “Events like Reclaim the Night are important because sexual violence is very common, and because we still have a long way to go before every survivor of sexual violence can speak up about what they’ve experienced, confident that they’ll be believed and not blamed. All proceeds from Reclaim the Night go to Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC), which we’re very happy to do.”Braithwaite also defended restricting the march to self-itentifying women only. She told Cherwell, “This particular campaign is about gender-based violence, and we want to make sure that women feel safe on the march. It’s also about showing solidarity with other women.”Lucy Delaney, OUSU Women’s Campaign Officer, commented, “I think Reclaim the Night is vital in recognising the ridiculous fact that women still feel unsafe to simply walk down the road at night.”She added, “I think men are an important part in the bid to stop violence against women, but in supporting, rather than leading roles. I think the idea behind Reclaim the Night is that it seizes the autonomy and agency long denied to women, so obviously it is important that this is led and carried out by women.”Abigail Burman, from the It Happens Here campaign against sexual violence, told Cherwell, “The marches are still important because the epidemic of sexual violence and violence against women is ongoing. And we as a society are still far too silent on these issues.”However, one second year student said, “Although I think that preventing sexual violence is a very important goal, I’m not convinced that a march is the best way to act upon this.“Instead, we should focus on directly helping women who have been affected by sexual harrassment or rape; simply raising awarenesss of the issues is not enough.”Reclaim the Night marches began in the UK nearly forty years ago, on 12 November 1977, when torch-lit marches were held across England.last_img read more

Andy Warhol at the Ashmolean

first_imgIn its 2016 Spring Exhibition, the Ashmolean Museum will display a private collection of Pop artist Andy Warhol’s works, including over 100 which have never before been publicly displayed.The exhibition will span Warhol’s entire career, and will offer a rare insight into the breadth and complexity of the artist’s works. The display will include many of his iconic masterpieces from the 1960s, such as works from the series Brillo Pads, and some of his most famous pieces on social and political themes, notably his Positive/Negative series.Dr Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Ashmolean Museum, commented, “The substance and significance of Andy Warhol’s art becomes more evident with each passing decade and this exhibition aims to add to what we know about Warhol by highlighting unfamiliar and surprising works from across his career.”It is hoped that this diverse collection will shed some light on the thinking of an artist who lived a turbulent life in the public eye, from when he was shot and wounded by feminist activist Valerie Solanas in 1968 to the criticism he faced in the ‘70s and ‘80s over the philosophy that, in his own words, “Making money is art.”Professor Hanneke Grootenboer, Head of the Ruskin School of Art, told Cherwell, “The upcoming exhibition of Andy Warhol is very exciting for students across the University and across Oxford, in particular students in fine art, history of art, and visual culture at Oxford and Oxford Brookes.”Alongside these works will be some of his more experimental creations, including the Screen Test films, and a surprising array of commissioned portraits, picturing individuals from the West German Chancellor Willy Brandt to Farah Pahlavi, Princess of Iran.Sir Norman Rosenthal, the Hall Art Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ashmolean, said, “Warhol feels like the decisive artist of his generation, who peered into the future and saw his world with all its glamour and with all its horror.”Rosenthal stressed the particular significance of the screen print portrait of Warhol’s fellow artist Joseph Beuys, noting that “They were the two artists who were more than artists – they became symbols of their age.” Another important screen print on display will be ‘Heaven and hell are just one breath away!’, a reflection on death made especially poignant as it was one of Warhol’s very last works.An Oxford art student told Cherwell, “I think it’s great that such a respected, influential and inspiring artist gets the recognition he deserves at such a prestigious museum.” Others have wondered what place Warhol’s works have in the Ashmolean Museum, with one student remarking, “I don’t see why they have decided to display such a modern artist in a museum mainly concerned with ancient cultures. They call it modern for a reason.”Nonetheless, lovers of Warhol’s work will doubtless be delighted that some of his most intimate and provocative pieces will be placed: the products of an artist whose output has been described as “the most brilliant mirror of our times”.last_img read more

Report Ethical and dark drive chocolates, finds Mintel

first_imgDark and ethical chocolate products are gaining in popularity as total chocolate sales in the UK continue to rise despite the tough economy.According to Mintel, UK sales of chocolate increased by 9.2% between 2007 and 2009 to reach an estimated £3.6bn and sales are projected to grow to £4.1bn by 2015.The research found that over half of consumers claimed they preferred milk chocolate in 2008, but this dropped to just 35% in 2009. In addition, consumers claiming that dark chocolate was healthier increased from 23% in 2008 to 35% in 2010.Ethical concerns are also a key trend among chocolate buyers. The percentage of consumers who said they looked for Fairtrade chocolate remained steady during the recession, increasing from 35% in 2008 to 36% in 2009, while ’ethical’ was now the third most popular claim for new chocolate products, with 25% of new products launched in the UK in 2009 carrying this claim.”Despite the recession, a growing number of suppliers and retailers have been moving towards Fairtrade. It seems only a matter of time before the seasonal and boxed chocolates market shifts this way too,” said Vivianne Ihekweazu, Mintel senior food and drink analyst.The research also found that in 2008, the brand/own-label divide stood at 84%/16%. In 2009 the split had changed to 77%/23%.last_img read more

Watch The Infamous Stringdusters Cover Grateful Dead’s ‘Scarlet Begonias’ In Boulder

first_imgJust two nights ago, the Infamous Stringdusters took the stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre alongside JJ Grey & Mofro and Fruition. One night later, they were on stage at the fabulous Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO, treating Colorado fans to a relatively-more intimate performance of their stripped down bluegrass tunes. The Dusters are touring on the heels of their recently released Ladies & Gentlemen album, and there’s no shortage of new and classic tunes for the band to choose. Among the many favorites from the night, one major highlight was the group’s cover of the Grateful Dead classic, “Scarlet Begonias.” Watch below, courtesy of Grateful Web:You can also check out the full show audio below, courtesy of taper Rob O’Brien:last_img

Cabinet Supplier Finds Silver Lining in Cloudy Economy

first_imgVermont specialty wood products manufacturer Classic Designs by Matthew Burak continues to grow at a double digit pace, despite overall weakness in the housing market.The company manufactures high-quality turned columns for kitchen and bath cabinetmakers. Company sales have grown at an annual rate of 12% over the last 20 months. Internet sales from the companys website, www.tablelegs.com(link is external) have grown 61% over the same period last year.Remodeling is driving our business right now, says General Manager David Redmond. Our customers are cabinetmakers from all over the country. They are telling us a couple interesting things. One, homeowners trying to sell their home in slow markets are remodeling kitchens in an effort to attract buyers. These people use our columns and corbels to update an older home with its first kitchen island. Two, were hearing that clients whose homes are not on the market are doing some serious cocooning. Instead of the big travel vacation, homeowners are investing in spending leisure time at home, Redmond says.Kitchens are getting bigger, with more ambitious trim packages at the high and upper-middle end levels, Redmond continues. Our products give cabinetmakers an easy way to make cabinetry look more luxurious. Classic Designs can modify any stock to give a custom look without the big expense of truly custom-turned components.Classic Designs by Matthew Burak84 Central StreetSt. Johnsbury, VT 05819-2326www.tablelegs.com(link is external)last_img read more

Cracking the code of innovation

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Everyone says they want innovation in their organization, but when an ambitious employee offers a new idea to a CEO, for example, it is often shot down, says Neal Thornberry, Ph.D., faculty director for innovation initiatives at the Naval Postgraduate School in California.“Senior leaders often miss the value-creating potential of a new concept because they either don’t take the time to really listen and delve into it, or the innovating employee presents it in the wrong way,” says Thornberry, who recently published “Innovation Judo,” based on his years of experience teaching innovation at Babson College and advising an array of corporate clients, from the Ford Co. and IBM to Cisco Systems.“Innovation should be presented as opportunities, not ideas,” he says. “Opportunities have gravitas (substance), while ideas do not!”Thornberry outlines a template for innovation that works:Intention: “I once worked with an executive committee, and I got six different ideas for what ‘innovation’ meant,” Thornberry says. “One wanted new products, another focused on creative cost-cutting, and the president wanted a more innovative culture. The group needed to agree on their intent before anything else.”Infrastructure: This is where you designate who is responsible for what. It’s tough, because the average employee will not take on new responsibility and potential risk without incentive. Some companies create units specifically focused on innovation, while others try to change the company culture to foster innovation throughout. “Creating a culture takes too long,” Thornberry says. “Don’t wait for that.”Investigation: What do you know about the problem? IDEO may be the world’s premier organization for investigating innovative solutions. Suffice to say the organization doesn’t skimp on collecting and analyzing data. At this point, data collection is crucial, whereas brainstorming often proves a waste of time, if the participants come in with the same ideas, knowledge and opinions they had last week with no new learning in their pockets. continue reading »last_img read more

Governor Wolf, Senator Wiley, Reps. Harkins and Fabrizio Secure Critical Funding in Budget to Aid Erie

first_img July 14, 2016 Press Release,  Schools That Teach Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Sean Wiley, and Representatives Pat Harkins and Flo Fabrizio today announced that the 2016-17 budget includes critical funding for the Erie School District. In the 2016-17 budget, the Erie School District received an increase of $3.3 million in basic education funding, an increase of $234,000 in special education funding, and an additional $4 million to aid the district financially.Over a two year period, Governor Wolf and legislators have secured more than $6.5 million in basic education funding for the Erie School District and $562,000 in special education funding.“The Erie School District, like too many districts across Pennsylvania, is still reeling from the devastating cuts to education made by the previous administration,” said Governor Wolf. “Working with Senator Wiley and Representatives Harkins and Fabrizio, we fought hard to secure additional funding for the district that is critical to placing it on solid financial footing. The budget that was completed yesterday includes more money to invest in our classrooms and our children, and it provides additional funding to help the district with its finances.”Going even further, Governor Wolf worked with Senator Wiley, and Representatives Harkins and Fabrizio to include a provision in the budget to provide the Erie School District with additional financial and technical support from the Department of Education.“We spent months making the case that Erie’s Public Schools cannot cut its way out of this hole and that their financial situation cannot be righted without an influx of funds,” said Senator Wiley. “Getting them out of the red and back to even was an important step, but one that is only a short-term fix. Erie’s Public Schools and other districts across this Commonwealth will be right back in the same situation next budget cycle if we don’t address the costs incurred by districts. I look forward to continuing to work on those necessary systemic changes moving forward.”“I’m very happy that things worked out,” said Rep. Harkins. “We’ve been working together in a bipartisan way since September with Superintendent Jay Badams to find a positive solution for all involved. I’m very glad we were able to come to an agreement that worked for everyone.”“I’m very pleased that the General Assembly and the Governor have recognized the dire financial situation of Erie’s Public Schools, and that by working collaboratively and collectively, we’ve been able to provide them with some relief,” said Representative Fabrizio.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Governor Wolf, Senator Wiley, Reps. Harkins and Fabrizio Secure Critical Funding in Budget to Aid Eriecenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Abortion: A tragic response to lack of choice

first_imgIt was, ironically, a pro-abortion senior nurse who told me I may be the only person these women would ever confide in. It’s a burden I never willingly sought, but will carry none the less.Stories of secret abortions to avoid further exacerbation of domestic violence. Stories of rape and incest. Employers who subtly threatened termination of job or denial of promotion if pregnancy resulted – or continued. Financial concerns. Educational restraints. Other children at home, some with special needs. Breakdowns of long term relationships.Not once did I come across women celebrating their abortion as an act of female empowerment, taking dominion and control over their reproductive destinies.Suddenly the pro-choice bumper sticker rhetoric looked shallow, meaningless and simply blatant lies.Even the women who were “pro-choice” and would likely make the same choice if they were in the same circumstances again, admitted their sorrow – acknowledgement of a child who was just not meant to be. Their stories were dotted with “if onlys”.If only.Society’s offer of help to the desperate woman? Kill her unborn child. How utterly offensive.It became obvious – abortion was not a choice, rather a tragic response to a lack of choices.Abortion isn’t illegal in this country. The system is set up with the intention of acknowledging the interests of the unborn and trying to balance that against the woman and her interests.If we were to fully liberalise our abortion laws, what will we see? There’s no reason to not anticipate very liberal American constructs. A clinic where a woman can walk in, part with a few hundred dollars, and be out the door by mid-afternoon.Right now, most abortions are done under the banner of a District Health Board. The system follows the law as much as those involved interpret it.Infection control and surgical care pathways are followed religiously, women with complicated histories are assessed and cared for properly to ensure no harm comes to them, and when the very rare complication does arise, they are dealt with quickly and competently. We’ve had no abortion deaths in this country since the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act passed in the late 70s.The system can pick up, and care for, girls and women who may be facing violent situations at home, domestic violence, rape, coercion. There is counselling, discussion of options, and health care professionals each step of the way.I don’t like abortion, but at least in this country we have a system that protects women from the worst the abortion industry can offer.For all the talk from the Greens, Labour and whoever else decides to throw their hat in, what will full liberalisation look like?Will our laws demand that abortions remain in hospitals? Demand a process through counselling and meeting with different health care professionals? Will it ensure we won’t have random clinics popping up in our poorest neighbourhoods with the cheapest of facilities, relaxed infection control, no resuscitation equipment, and staff who frequently operate outside their scope practice?Do we want a system like some of the more liberal states in America? Where women are herded through questionable clinics like cattle? Where the abortion lobby staunchly and frequently opposes standard clinic regulations and health checks?I don’t pretend that my experiences are the majority – I’m sure there are plenty of women who got through their abortion process without any crisis of conscience or long term emotional anguish.My concern is that all the women who’ve shared their sombre stories with me got through a pretty rigorous system which was supposed to protect them, but how many women will be hurried through a more liberalised version? What will their emotional futures look like?Liberalising abortion just comes across as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Like so many of our problems in this country, we’re too busy making bigger band aids instead of addressing why there’s so many sharp objects laying about.READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/share-your-news-and-views/17875538/Abortion-A-tragic-response-to-lack-of-choice Stuff co.nz 31 March 2017Family First Comment: An excellent Op-Ed“For all the talk from the Greens, Labour and whoever else decides to throw their hat in, what will full liberalisation look like? Will our laws demand that abortions remain in hospitals? Demand a process through counselling and meeting with different health care professionals? Will it ensure we won’t have random clinics popping up in our poorest neighbourhoods with the cheapest of facilities, relaxed infection control, no resuscitation equipment, and staff who frequently operate outside their scope practice? Do we want a system like some of the more liberal states in America? Where women are herded through questionable clinics like cattle? Where the abortion lobby staunchly and frequently opposes standard clinic regulations and health checks? I don’t pretend that my experiences are the majority – I’m sure there are plenty of women who got through their abortion process without any crisis of conscience or long term emotional anguish. My concern is that all the women who’ve shared their sombre stories with me got through a pretty rigorous system which was supposed to protect them, but how many women will be hurried through a more liberalised version? What will their emotional futures look like? Liberalising abortion just comes across as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Like so many of our problems in this country, we’re too busy making bigger band aids instead of addressing why there’s so many sharp objects laying about.”www.chooselife.org.nz Then I became a nurse.Early on I directed my career away from women’s health. I didn’t want to have to deal with my niggling conscience when assisting with abortion or sexual health. I didn’t want to appear to be “judging” a patient, I didn’t want to be unprofessional.So, imagine my surprise when time and time again I met women who began pouring out their stories of grief to me. Stories regarding their abortions. Common questions in nursing assessments – previous surgical histories, any reactions to drugs etc – led to very personal abortion stories.These stories were truly heart-wrenching, and I felt as if I was intruding into an aspect of their life that, even as a healthcare professional, was not my place to be. It was too intimate.last_img read more