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Consolidation Hits UK local sites: Zoopla Buys UpMyStreet

Ingrid is a reporter for TechCrunch, selvedge February 2012, based out of London. She comes from paidContent.org, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect. When it comes to work, feel she most … ? Learn more

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Housing market UK has been on shaky legs for some time now — with tight lending conditions, unemployment and general consumer confidence all play their part in slowing down things — and that during the inevitable spill-over to Web sites built to serve this sector: today brings news that Zoopla, one of Britain’s major property websites, may buy a smaller competitor/data leverandørUpMyStreet, and folding the latter business activities of its own.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it appears the acquisition means curtains to UpMyStreet brand, one of the oldest local-listings sites in the UK: If you visit the URL, now you will see that the site now automatically redirects to Zooplas pages, with no sign of UpMyStreet branding must be seen.

There is a quick splash, however, appear on some pages that advertises the sale:

Prior to the sale, UpMyStreet had switched owners a few times. In 2003, it was bought by USwitch, a consumer price comparison site, when the company had run out of cash. USwitch then got bought by E.W. Scripps, and subsequently sold to forward Internet Group, left the UpMyStreet at Scripps.

UpMyStreet had already been a strategic partner of the Zooplas before the acquisition, to give additional information on the property sites along with Zoopla’s core property listings service. Zoopla has had a commercial relationship with UpMyStreet.com for some time and this acquisition is a natural fit for us and allows us to further expand our audience and reach for the benefit of our members, “said Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of Zoopla, in a statement.

Provides additional data together with real estate prices is an important way for these sites to further set themselves apart from their competitors: it is an approach which we have also seen in the United States with companies like Zillow pioneering all kinds of data analysis make their fundamental house price service for something a little more special and unique.

Sources say acquisition GigaOm points could have been for less than 1 million pounds ($ 1.6 m).

This is not the only bit of consolidation under way for Zoopla, which has raised $ 10.7 million in funding from Atlas Venture, Octopus Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

In April, the company finally got the green light at the United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading to complete a proposed merger with the A and N Media DMGT-owned digital Property Group — an agreement which was first announced in October 2011. The handle should complete any day now, the companies say, and Create a property powerhouse to better compete against Rightmove, currently the market leader in the United Kingdom.

Founded in 1998, UpMyStreet was one of the first places to pop up in the UK focused on giving users the location-based information. Its earliest iteration worked quite: you entered a neighborhood — or better yet a Postal code — and a category of undertakings, and you got in return a list of relevant enterprises, ordered with respect to distance. It was simple and often very useful.

UpMyStreet may have been a first-mover but with sites like Google and Qype setting down the idea of local listings and runs with it, UMS had to look at ways to offer more enhanced information — and pornographic it.

Later, the company expanded to include lots of other information, that did it, as a service, less about local information for residents of a particular area, and more about information for people considering move to certain areas. Inclusion of housing prices, local school information and local crime statistics. It was around this time that it began partnerships with sites like Zoopla to give this information to supplement the company’s broader database property listings.

UpMyStreet however, not on its own site, seems to kill it with traffic: Nielsen reported in March that the site had 600 000 unique users in March — a drop in the bucket considering competitor Qype says in a typical month it gets 25 million monthly visits in its footsteps.


Zoopla leverages user-generated data to provide the most accurate house price estimation available in the UK market. It quickly becomes one of the most popular property websites in the UK, thanks to its award-winning Web site and rich property data sets.

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UpMyStreet is the UK leading home and local information Internet service. The site, part of the SN Digital, provides consumers with a range of searchable local information based on zip codes, including the property prices, local directory services, demographic profiles, Council information, reports, crime and transport links. UpMyStreet derives revenue from advertising, partnerships and for providing business-to-business information services.

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