Searchland raises £2.3m to help developers solve housing crisis with automation

Searchland, the next-generation platform for land sourcing, has raised £2.3m in seed funding from Fuel Ventures to help property developers build more homes. Having gained significant traction with developers since its launch last year, Searchland will use the funds to integrate additional datasets and further automate land sourcing processes so they can rapidly find, validate and acquire off market sites for development.

What is Searchland?

Searchland is the next-generation platform for land sourcing. By making developers data-driven and automating their most time-consuming processes, it allows them to find, validate and acquire high margin development opportunities ahead of their competitors. Searchland is driven by the belief that technology has an integral part to play in solving the housing crisis. Its digital tools transform the land sourcing process so developers can focus on what they do best - building more homes. Its customers include some of the country’s best-known property companies including Places for People, Galliford Try and Aster Group.

Why now?

Amid a scarcity of land for development in the UK and with property companies using over thirty data resources to assess the development potential of a site, the process of securing viable off market sites is a slow, fragmented and complex task. Faced with higher site and build costs, developers also now need to be more confident in their margins. All of these factors contribute to the lack of supply of new homes and ongoing housing crisis in the UK.

How did Searchland come about?

Searchland was founded by Mitchell Fasanya, previously co-founder and CTO of influencer marketing agency FanBytes (acquired by Brainlabs), land planner Hugh Gibbs, data scientist Arthur Goodhart and computer scientist Archie Kennedy-Dyson to turbo charge land sourcing processes and help developers build more homes. The proptech company has enjoyed significant traction since its launch last year thanks to its user-friendly, data-driven platform and automated processes.

“Having tried to find a site of my own to build on, I discovered there was very considerable friction in the land sourcing process’” comments co-founder and CEO Mitchell Fasanya “The property industry is rich in data but it wasn’t being leveraged effectively and developers were having to trawl through a myriad of clunky databases to track down the information they needed. While modern digital tools had emerged they failed to eradicate the industry’s antiquated processes and were prohibitively expensive for the majority of developers.”

By integrating the relevant data sets, Searchland has created a rich mosaic of the country’s property that provides developers with all the insights they need in a single click. Developers can instantly uncover sites that meet specific criteria including the percentage of undeveloped land, use class and building height, as well as review key information such as planning history, ownership and constraints - all without leaving the platform. The platform also features digital workflows for other admin-heavy tasks, such as sending letters of interest to land owners to explore their willingness to sell.

“In less than a year we’ve built the most sophisticated platform for land sourcing and we have a conversion rate of 70-80%. Ultimately we want to offload all of the admin heavy tasks for developers so they can focus on what they do best - building homes. This funding round will allow us to accelerate product development and advance further ahead of the competition,” continues Mitchell Fasanya.

“Searchland has created a very powerful and highly scalable product that is set to become the industry standard for land sourcing thanks to its customer-driven approach and pace of innovation. We were very impressed by the team and were keen to lead the current round with a significant ticket,” comments Mark Pearson, founder and managing partner at Fuel Ventures.

SearchLand was a participant in the Geovation Accelerator Programme in spring 2021 – a programme which provides geospatial and PropTech start-ups with grant funding and 12 months of support, backed by HM Land Registry and Ordnance Survey.

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