Fed up with cowboy builders?
Press release issued: 31 January 2008
An innovative company, based at Bristol University, has just received a major cash injection from some of the UK's top investors. Buildersite.co.uk, a cross between eBay and a dating agency, is a new website that matches householders and tradespeople for construction and home-improvement jobs.
A new company, based at Bristol University, could be the answer to your building problems. Buildersite.co.uk, a cross between eBay and a dating agency, is a new website that matches householders and tradespeople for construction and home-improvement jobs.
The concept behind Buildersite is simple but highly effective. Householders register their building requirements on the website. Tradespeople ask questions, request to visit the property and make a bid for the work. Users check out the bidders’ profile and feedback from other users and, at the end of the bidding round, compare quotes and select the builder they want to do the job. To date, over 3,000 builders have registered on the site.
The website, which was established in 2006, has just received a substantial cash injection from some of the UK’s top investors, including Paul Birch, co-founder of Bebo, and the Accelerator Group, which has also invested in successful start-ups Lovefilm and Agent Provocateur. The funding will be invested in technology, marketing and customer support.
Former stonemason and CEO of Buildersite Ryan Notz said,
‘This funding will enable us to expand the team to enhance our offering of reputation-driven matches. Our priority this month is expanding the web development and marketing teams. The take up and feedback from our users has been fantastic so far – it’s a real buzz to build something that is really changing a market.’
Builders who use the site have responded positively to the news. Cymon Allen, a plumber from Tunbridge Wells, said,
‘Finding a good tradesman is fraught with problems and anything that helps weed out the cowboys is excellent news for everyone connected with the building trade.’
Ryan Notz is an alumnus of Bristol University’s SETsquared Business Acceleration Centre, as Nick Sturge, the director, explains,
‘Ryan was in the Centre for 15 months and we enjoyed working with him to accelerate Buildersite towards this round of investment. We are proud to be associated with the company and wish Ryan the best for the future.’
The Bristol SETsquared Business Acceleration Centre, one of five in the south and southwest of England, is part of the SETsquared Partnership, a collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Southampton and Surrey. Together they support early-stage, high growth-potential science and technology ventures from both within and outside the universities to accelerate their businesses.
- The construction industry is the largest industry in the UK, with over 1.5 million tradespeople, 200,000 contracting companies and 25 million potential customers. The home-improvement sector alone is worth over £12 billion.
- For further information contact Sadia Haq at the University of Bristol on 0117 928 8676, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Ryan Notz, CEO of buildersite.co.uk on 0207 808 5923, email email@example.com.