£2m funding for AI-powered relocation agent
Posted on January 25, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox
AI-powered relocation agent Perchpeek has raised £2 million in a round led by early-growth experts Episode 1.
Founded in 2018 as a UK property marketplace, Perchpeek was originally dubbed ‘Tinder for renting’, but has since developed into a completely unique, global relocation service.
Its app combines AI-powered recommendations with relocation experts to curate properties and additional services for the user. As they use the app, recommendations become more tailored until they’ve found the perfect home in the perfect area.
With millions of employees set to be allowed to work remotely indefinitely, many serviced-based workers are actively considering relocating to destinations outside of traditional corporate HQs.
Paul Bennett, co-founder of Perchpeek and former business development executive at Amazon, saw a clear gap in the market to not only provide an end-to-end relocation service but also help some of the world’s top companies attract and retain top talent.
Over the past year, Perchpeek has helped over 1,000 employees relocate to 47 countries, and says that in doing so, saved their companies between 50-70 per cent in relocation fees.
Unlike traditional, archaic and highly localised relocation operators, Perchpeek is present across 1,000s of towns and cities globally, with over 200 relocation experts supporting users and new locations being added at seven days’ notice.
The employee is able to drive their entire relocation from within the specially–designed Perchpeek app – from house-hunting and virtual tours of schools – to organising utilities set-ups and shipping quotes.
“In the past relocation agents were incredibly expensive and time-consuming, involved limited choices, lots of travelling back and forth to view properties and visit banks, and was an extremely fragmented experience,” Bennett explains.
“Perchpeek’s technology is a game-changer for most companies who can now offer high quality, affordable relocation support to employees of any level wanting to move to any country or city in the world.
“The pandemic has shown that many employees can be successful working from anywhere and a litany of companies from Facebook to Reddit to Twitter have already committed to a remote-first future.
“This has accelerated the trend towards relocators being more digitally minded and interested in moving for lifestyle reasons rather than purely their career.
“Many of our larger corporate clients are investing in new roles to support this population, such as ‘head of remote’ and are actively seeking new benefits to retain talent in the new hybrid world of work.”
Perchpeek supports its corporate clients by providing a real-time dashboard to HR teams showcasing where each employee is in their relocation, the cost of living in different areas and visibility over how many days an employee has spent in each tax code, a service which has attracted major businesses such as Liberty Global, Unilever and Red Hat.
Bennett added: “We have ambitious plans for 2021 as Covid restrictions hopefully lift. Not only will we see more employees seeking to work from anywhere, but we’ll also see more big corporates adapting their real estate footprint to accommodate more flexible remote work policies as they see the combination of cost savings and an improved culture that a successful hybrid model can produce.”
This latest round of funding was led by early-growth stage software investor Episode 1, alongside investors from the US, UK, Dubai, Saudi, Germany, Montenegro and Pakistan with Angel investors including Kevin Felix of ScotiaBank, Jahed Rahman of Aldar and Kris Rudeegraap of Sendoso.
Damien Lane, co-founder and partner at Episode 1, said: “Thousands of companies are grappling with the new world of work where employees are remote and therefore free to live anywhere.
“Traditional ‘ex-pat’ solutions are far too localised and expensive to support this new cadre of relocator and we see the opportunity for Perchpeek to become the leader in supporting the future of migration.”
The investment will be used to further international expansion, taking Perchpeek’s portfolio of 47 countries to over 160 by Q3, as well as growing the US sales team.