Downing commits £4.2 million to support growth of online home services marketplace, Rated People

Downing commits £4.2 million to support growth of online home services marketplace, Rated People

Downing Ventures has committed £4.2 million of funding to Rated People Limited, to help the company accelerate growth by investing in marketing and sales and continue driving innovation in its product offering.

Rated People is an online home services marketplace that aims to connect homeowners with high quality local tradespeople. The company offers access to more than 50,000 tradespeople, representing over 30 trades, and covering the whole of the UK.  It is free for homeowners to post jobs on the platform. Trades customers pay a subscription fee, along with transactional revenues to access the marketplace and provide quotes for homeowners’ jobs. Its annual membership offering reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to helping tradespeople run successful businesses, providing trades businesses with inbuilt features that help them stay organised and track the work they’re doing. Annual membership also provides trades businesses with access to over 200 personal and business discounts to cut costs on everything from tools at Jewson, to fuel and free mobile phone insurance.

James Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures says:

“The UK market for online home services is highly fragmented. Competitors mostly operate a directory led ‘listings’ model, making it harder to screen their tradespeople base and difficult to provide pricing transparency for homeowners. Rated People have the technology expertise to give homeowners close to on-demand access to local, and most importantly, available tradespeople who can provide competitive quotes to get their work completed. We believe that this is a compelling opportunity to back an impressive management team in a growing and digitally under-penetrated UK market.”

Rated People has focused on building a marketplace value proposition around scale, speed of response, and quality of service. This proposition allows for a faster speed of match and a vastly superior user experience for homeowners as they can request multiple quotes for price transparency from different providers, with a typical response rate of between two minutes and two hours.

In addition, Rated People performs both automatic and manual screening, working in partnership with Experian, Action Fraud UK and Trading Standards. This enables the company to establish the tradesperson’s identity and financial stability. When considered alongside other checks, a bigger picture is built of the trades businesses seeking to minimise the risks posed to homeowners by rogue traders.

Celia Francis, CEO, Rated People, says:

“Rated People has experienced significant growth in recent years. The £2.5 billion of home improvement work flowing through us is huge and we’re operating in an exciting industry where that translates to a 4.5% market share. There’s great potential for future growth. On behalf of the team at Rated People, we’re delighted to be working with Downing Ventures and appreciate their enthusiasm and support in helping us make tradespeople even more successful and ensuring homeowners find and recognise a quality tradesperson quickly, who is available to meet their home improvement needs.”

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