Nested, a U.K.-based online real estate agent has raised £5 million ($6.9 million U.S.) to expand its business and operate a new hyperlocal strategy.

Nested was one of a small number of European-based property marketplaces involved in IBuying. Its previous model offered to guarantee to buy a vendor’s property if it didn’t sell within an agreed period for a minimum price. Now Nested has launched what it calls a modern estate agent offering, a mix of traditional agents in the field and intensive use of technology.

German media company Axel Springer is one of the investors. It has also invested in U.K. hybrid agency PurpleBricks and has taken the holding in Nested through its subsidiary Aviv Group, which concentrates on digital activities in real estate, car sales and classified listings and is active in Germany, France, Belgium and Israel. The deal will give Nested the ability to utilize Axel Springer’s industry experience and resources as Nested plans to expand in 2021.

Existing Nested shareholders, Balderton and Northzone Capital have also increased their investment, which follows on from the £20 million Nested raised in 2018.

During the last year, as operations were impacted by the pandemic, Nested has tested a new model that concentrates on creating a localized estate agency service. It launched the new strategy in five parts of London during 2020.

Agents with expert knowledge of the local area have helped Nested gain up to 15% of the market in those five areas, according to the company. It expanded this to a few more areas in Q12020 and plans to add 30 more areas over the next 18 months, including moving outside of London for the first time and rolling out across the rest of the U.K.

Nested has recently released updates to its mobile app to give vendors instant access to all parts of their sale, from feedback, scheduled viewings to recording the actions agents take to generate interest and how often they have chased up specific enquiries. This saves agents and vendors having to constantly phone each other.

“We’ve built a truly modern estate agent where we hire the best local agents out of traditional agency and support them with unrivaled technology and unique features like our buying agent, chain management and advance,” said Nested CEO Matt Robinson.

“We are firm believers in the opportunity to modernize and digitize estate agency services,” said Dr Marc Rustige of Axel Springer.

“From our global market scan we could see that Nested was building out a powerful offering that combines a superb experience for home sellers and buyers.”

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