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Claims that Emoov did not tell investors about losses are ‘fake news’, says founder

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Mon 25 Feb 2019

Claims that Emoov did not tell investors about losses are ‘fake news’, says founder

Emoov founder Russell Quirk yesterday described a story in the Mail on Sunday as “full of exaggeration” and “fake news”.

The piece alleged that investors chipping into a crowdfunding round had not been told that Emoov “was losing £3m a month before its collapse”.

The story went on to claim: “A report by the administrators reveals the firm lost £15m in the five months to September 2018 after its audacious £100m three-way merger with Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo and Urban.”

But Quirk said that the story – run under the headline ‘Emoov did not reveal £15m loss to investors’ – could only be true “if we were capable of time travel”.

He said: “The Mail on Sunday criticised the business, saying that ‘it did not inform investors of losses to September’.

“The crowdfunding campaign was launched in June.

“So, tell me how we could have informed anyone of something that was three months away from happening?”

Quirk said: “For the record, the £15m is nothing like the actual figure for the period from the merger’s completion to the end of September.

“The formal management accounts show a much, much lower number.

“But hey, let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

“The article is ridiculous in its very premise that we could ‘declare’ anything in June that related to the later month of September.

“This is the very embodiment of fake news.”

The Mail on Sunday story says that Emoov was sold last month by administrators James Cowper Kreston to Mashroom for £232,500 plus VAT.

According to papers lodged at Companies House, the administrators expect to declare a dividend to secured and preferential creditors, and a dividend to unsecured creditors pursuant to S176A of the Insolvency Act. Total preferential creditors are calculated to be owed £219,606.

The administrators also report that at the time of entering administration, Emoov had 2,400 active customers – people with their homes on the market, or whose homes were sold subject to contract. They also report that North Shell Ventures had a charge over the company under which they were  owed £2.5m.

Trade creditors total some £1.6m, and taxation around £350,000. Creditors listed include Rightmove, owed £12,564, and Metropix, owed £3,384.