ZEPHYR MIDCO 2 LIMITED – 2023 MID YEAR REPORT
29th September 2023
ZPG’s companies include some of the UK’s most well recognised, trusted and innovative digital brands.
As the company surpasses the fifth anniversary of its transition to private ownership, ZPG continues to focus on its goal of providing significant value and an ever-improving experience to customers and consumers. This approach, led by its management team, is in turn supported by Silver Lake and Red Ventures, each of which provides unique expertise in product, technology, and marketing. This, combined with ZPG’s long-term strategic thinking, enables the company to make investments and other decisions that might not be possible in a public market context.
Key updates for the two divisions of ZPG (Houseful and RVU) over the first six months of the fiscal year ending June 2023 are outlined below.
The Property division at Zoopla Property Group has rebranded as Houseful to better reflect the evolution of the business from a leading property website to the leading software, data and insights business in residential property. Houseful is focused on creating the connections that power better property decisions across the industry and brings together industry-leading solutions and brands including Zoopla, Alto and Hometrack that power better home choices, drive greater efficiency across the property transaction and unlock opportunities for growth amongst our partners.
Zoopla has progressed with its ambition to offer a differentiated experience for home research - as well as continuing its transformation from a digital classified site to a connected experience across the property lifecycle for consumers, estate agents and new homes developers.
Onsite improvements in H1 include using data science and machine learning to display intelligent recommendations on similar properties for sale on Zoopla’s listings details pages, building a new image gallery for listing details pages to enable consumers to access floorplans and maps from one place and continuing to optimise our app experience.
Improvements were also made to My Home with Zoopla and Mojo Mortgages now working closely together to provide a remortgage experience in My Home to the over 2 million registered users. New features like ‘personal estimates’ have also been added to My Home to encourage homeowners to return to the site more frequently, while visitors per month have increased by 48% in the first six months of 2023.
For estate agents, Zoopla launched a new product - Property Alerts Sponsorship - which enables agents to sponsor Zoopla’s property alert emails to reach active property-seekers who have expressed a strong search intent in their area. We also relaunched Audience Connect for our housebuilder customers. Audience Connect uses unique Zoopla data to raise the brand profile of an individual housebuilder and drive vendors to their website. Zoopla has also been making continuous developments to its site to enable agents and housebuilders to be NTS-compliant.
Alto continues to roll out improvements at pace to its customer base and recent innovations include Alto Marketplace which provides a wide range of best-in-class proptech integrations for customers - enabling agents to customise their CRM to suit their individual business needs. Alto Marketplace currently has 15 integrations (with 11 integrated at the end of H1) with leading proptechs including Goodlord, Fixflo, Vouch and SmartSearch.
In addition to this, Alto has continued to improve its core offering - launching a new mobile functionality which enables agents to access appointments and their colleague’s calendars on the go. Agents can also more easily look up properties in Alto to find out more information such as current valuation, floor space and EPC.
In the New Homes market, Zoopla signed a multi-year software agreement with Persimmon. All of the housebuilder’s housing stock will be processed through Zoopla’s software solutions, while conveyancers and mortgage brokers will also now have the ability to connect easily to buyers via Zoopla’s Sales Progression portal - providing visibility for all parties on the transaction journey.
Data & Risk
Hometrack launched Property Listings Data, which provides the most complete set of property listings data available on the market - including information on asking prices, rental yields, sales agreed and core property attributes. The product has use cases in various industries including property, insurance, energy and retail.
Leeds Building Society integrated with Hometrack’s digital platform Property Risk Hub and enhanced its use of automated valuations with the addition of Digital Valuer. This will enable Leeds Building Society to speed up and improve the mortgage journey using the most up-to-date property risk data.
Hometrack also launched a market-first technology partnership with LandTech - which enables developers large and small to financially appraise, plan and develop properties – with the most up-to-date valuation estimates and comparables data.
In 2022, we launched our first ESG report which reported our progress on Zoopla’s (now Houseful) commitments to sustainability, community and governance. We continued our investment in carbon reduction planning by partnering with Persefoni, a leading carbon accounting tool that enables us to effectively collect and analyse our carbon footprint. To support our ESG goals, we’re also developing an ESG dashboard which will track progress against key ESG metrics like the gender pay gap.
This year also marked the second year of our multi-year partnership with the charity Crisis. Throughout the past year, Zoopla has leveraged its unique data, brand recognition and leading industry position to support Crisis with changing the perceptions of homelessness.
Together, we have also called for meaningful reform when it comes to housing benefits and the shortfall in affordable housing. In addition to this, Houseful employees spent over 200 years volunteering in the community and raised £65,000 for Crisis.
Accretive and strategic acquisitions and disposals
RVU began the year by completing the disposal of its Spanish and French assets - Rastreator and LeLynx - as well as RVU India to Gruppo MutuiOnline.
The move places RVU in a stronger position to intensify focus on the UK market and help the millions of consumers coming to its brands to make confident household decisions.
RVU continues to benefit from the 2022 acquisition of Tempcover, giving access to the growing temporary insurance segment of the general insurance market and enabling further exploration of opportunities to surface the product across its consumer brands.
Market leadership and customer experience
RVU’s businesses are continuously strengthening their market leadership and helping both consumers and businesses navigate the exceptional environment of high inflation, putting pressure on living and running costs.
Confused.com has maintained a strong position following the 2022 regulatory changes in the general insurance market and has supported consumers through sizable premium hikes in excess of £200 per year on car insurance alone. The home insurance market has also been impacted by significant increases in premiums.
Tempcover is playing an important role in the convenience lifestyle sector, presenting consumers with an efficient solution for their short term policy needs in everything from driveaway insurance, learner driver cover to car sharing.
Material improvements to Mojo Mortgages’ customer journey, growth in numbers of mortgage advisors and increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped support even more consumers through an exceptionally difficult period of rising interest rates.
Money and Uswitch have played pivotal roles this year in guiding consumers and businesses to make confident decisions on their financial and utility bills.
Money has been instrumental in helping consumers find the right places to invest at a time of buoyant savings rates, while its SME current account offering has helped ensure that small businesses are choosing the best possible financial products for their needs.
Despite minimal consumer switching activity in the energy sector, Uswitch continues to see strong engagement with its market-leading energy guidance, including sign-ups to its ‘Switch Ready’ alerts service. It was the first price comparison site to offer new customers an exclusive fixed energy deal, driving significant interest from both industry and media.
Meanwhile Uswitch for Business has enabled businesses to compare commercial gas and electricity deals, helping thousands save both time and money when switching.
- Ends -
For further information, please contact PR Team on [email protected] or +44 (0)20 3873 8770.
Hello. We're Zoopla. A property website and app.
We know you're not just looking for a place to live. You're looking for a home.
Yeah, we've got over a million properties for you to browse.
Tools that let you filter them in all kinds of clever ways.
And reliable house price estimates, so you can be sure you aren't paying over the odds.
But we know you're looking for more than that.
Because that first flat won't just be a 'great investment opportunity'.
It'll be the feeling of starting out on your own.
That extra bedroom won't just mean another £20K on the re-sale price, it'll mean having your sister over to stay.
And that bungalow won't just be a way to release some equity, it will be a chance to spend more time with the grandkids.
We know that searching for a home is about more than just checking its price, location and features (important as all those things are).
What really matters is how it makes you feel.
We know what a home is really worth.
So let us help you find yours.
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