BidX1 Announce Strategic Investment by Pollen Street Capital

BidX1, the ground-breaking digital property company whose auction platform is transforming the institutional and retail property transaction process across the UK and Ireland, has today announced a strategic investment by funds managed by leading private equity house Pollen Street Capital.

Pollen Street Capital’s investment will accelerate BidX1’s strategic goals, powering transformational growth, further acquisitions and rapid international expansion.

BidX1 has developed an innovative, transparent and secure digital platform, allowing users to buy or sell property online from anywhere in the world, on any device. BidX1 has raised over €1.4bn in property sales since 2011 both via its leading-edge digital platform and traditional auctions.

The digital platform is built on a foundation of security and efficiency that benefits both buyer and seller and has proven successful across the full range of institutional and retail asset types, from houses and apartments to development sites and investment portfolios.

Stephen McCarthy, Founder & Managing Director at BidX1, said: “Digital innovation, sector expertise and best-in-class management teams are the trademarks of Pollen Street’s investment decisions so we’re very pleased to have established a partnership with them. It’s a testament to the strength not only of our bespoke platform, but also our people, whose passion and expertise have driven our success.”

“We have a clear organic growth strategy for the business and we will also consider joint ventures and the right acquisitions to accelerate our plans. We are a complementary platform for more traditional property agents and auction businesses who want to expand their market reach via a leading-edge digital platform for their clients and customers. Alongside further expansion in the UK, we’re targeting Southern Europe and South Africa, where many of our core clients already operate.”

“Pollen Street’s commitment is an endorsement of our core business proposition – driving change in the property industry through digitization and innovation – and will facilitate the acceleration of our growth plans which will inevitably include integrating more financial services in to the core platform.”

James Scott, Partner at Pollen Street Capital, said: “At Pollen Street Capital we seek out specialist entrepreneurial management teams whose businesses have strong growth potential – and Stephen McCarthy, Mike Murphy and the rest of the BidX1 team fit that bill.”

“Digital auctions are set to transform how institutional and retail property is bought and sold not just in the United Kingdom but around the world. The transformation will be profound as vendors increasingly understand the efficiency of the process, and buyers embrace the transparency that is inherent as well. We believe that BidX1 is well positioned to be a successful leader in this market transformation.”

Online auctions now lead the market in Ireland, with bids logged and displayed on a website, allowing bidders to clearly assess levels of competition, generating a significantly higher level of activity across a broader investor universe creating a win win outcome for sellers and buyers. Well established institutional investment managers seeking full transparency in their sales have been at the forefront in utilising the BidX1 digital model. This benefit is starting to be noticed by other longer-term traditional property owners including consumers.

In total, the BidX1 team have sold over 8,000 assets since establishment, raising more than €1.4bn. Over the past 18 months, bidders from 24 countries from New Zealand to the United States have   bought over 2,000 assets using BidX1’s digital property trading platform while raising over €500m in the process.

The acquisition of London-based auctioneers Andrews & Robertson earlier this year marked BidX1’s entry to the UK market, closely followed by three digital auctions of UK property which saw investors embracing the transparency and efficiency of the BidX1 platform.

Pollen Street Capital’s investment will help to further BidX1’s market leading strategy of driving progress in the property industry through digitisation, ease, speed of completion and ongoing innovation.

Specific details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

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About BidX1

BidX1 is a ground-breaking digital property company, with a focus on using technology to enhance the experience of buying and selling property. The company has developed a bespoke, in-house platform allowing our users to buy or sell property online from anywhere in the world, on any device – securely, efficiently & confidently.

BidX1 was established in 2011 when founder, Stephen McCarthy, introduced large-scale “ballroom” auctions to Ireland. Within 12 months, the company’s property teams had raised €80m through more than 500 property transactions. Believing that technology could fundamentally improve the core processes involved in buying and selling property, BidX1 held Ireland’s first legally-binding digital auction in 2015, challenging the traditional methods of sale and debunking the consensus that digitisation was unsuitable for the property industry due to the nature and value of the assets involved.  

In 2017, having raised €750m through traditional auctions and following a dual approach since 2015, BidX1 transitioned into a fully digital property company, thereby offering the full range of asset types via a secure and efficient digital platform. With the acquisition of London-based auctioneers Andrews & Robertson in early 2018, BidX1 has become the second largest commercial and residential auction house in Britain and Ireland. Three digital auctions of UK property have so far been held this year, demonstrating the strength of investor appetite for a process that provides greater transparency, efficiency and security.

About Pollen Street Capital

Pollen Street is a global, independent alternative asset management company focused on the financial and business services sectors and brings together a team of highly seasoned specialists with extensive experience in the UK, US and Europe. Pollen Street works closely with entrepreneurial management teams who share our values and whose businesses have strong potential for growth and market share expansion. Technological innovation and changing consumer behaviours are creating opportunities to build specialist businesses that serve well-defined target markets. Pollen Street help partner companies to take advantage of these opportunities and to build high growth, sustainable businesses that deliver a compelling proposition to their customers. Thanks to deep experience in financial and business services, Pollen Street aim to contribute market, product and process expertise as well as capital.

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