British property rental platform Howsy has bought former rival Upad for an undisclosed amount. In October, Upad went into voluntary liquidation after founder James Davis announced he was stepping back for health reasons.
Howsy acquired some of Upad’s assets, including its brand name, landlord database and website. Howsy plans to run Upad as a separate, complementary business from its primary end-to-end property management service for landlords.
Howsy CEO Calum Brannan said he was able to find some of Upad’s former staff, who were laid off in October, and bring them back to the business. “They were key to building the Upad brand, we are keen to ensure that they are part of the next stage of the business,” said Brannan.
While Howsy and Upad were rivals, they have different business models. Howsy has a three-tier fee structure and helps landlords find tenants, conducts on-boarding, offers property management and a premium service. Upad focuses on tenant-finding but does not offer other property management services. Brannan said he may consider integrating the businesses to some degree in the future and may make more acquisitions.
The move follows Howsy’s £5 million ($6.5 million U.S.) acquisition of online letting agency Urban.co.uk in September. The company, which merged with Emoov and Tepilo in May 2018, went into liquidation later that year.
“We’re going to revive the brand name and build upon it, making sure that we learn from all of the great work that has gone into building such a well-known and respected name,” said Brannan.