Thirdfort Fight Conveyancing Fraud – Funding Announcement
Thirdfort is delighted to announce a £400,000 pre-seed funding round led by Alex Chesterman (founder of Zoopla) and Lawyer Checker (leading legal anti-fraud specialist). The funding will be used principally to grow the team to develop the platform ahead of product roll-out. Other investors in this funding round include a range of successful entrepreneurs and proptech angel investors.
Thirdfort was founded in September 2017 by Olly Thornton-Berry and Jack Bidgood after a friend was defrauded out of £25,000 whilst buying a flat in London. Olly and Jack have been friends for 20 years having set up their first business together at Durham University, following which they worked in financial services for 6 years; Olly investing in technology companies, Jack in banking with Barclays.
Thirdfort’s mission is to revolutionise the homemoving experience and transfer of funds using technology.
According to the Land Registry, property fraud has increased 20-fold since 2015 while Thirdfort research suggests property professionals are spending more time and money on manual preventative measures which results in added stress for lawyer and homemover.
Thirdfort is an FCA regulated firm for property professionals offering data driven tools to verify clients’ identity, validate the source of funds and facilitate movement of money. Clients of lawyers using Thirdfort will receive a more digital transaction experience with a streamlined onboard, added security and transparency during property exchange.
The pre-seed round comes following Thirdfort’s participation in law firm Mishcon de Reya’s 10-week tech accelerator program, MDR LAB. The team continue to work with Mishcon de Reya on a pilot that is expected to take place before the end of the year. Thirdfort is in discussions with several law firms who have expressed interest to trial the initial version ahead of product release in Q1-19.
Thirdfort was selected to work with the Land Registry in their Geovation Hub, receiving technical support, desk space and £20,000 of grant funding. Thirdfort continues to work closely with the Land Registry and leading mortgage lenders in developing their product.
Chris Harris, MD of Lawyer Checker commented:
“Moving home and conveyancing is one of the most stressful processes someone can go through. The technological revolution means that this should become significantly easier and we are excited to have invested in Thirdfort to improve the process and ultimately reduce risk for homemovers and their lawyers.”
Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder of Thirdfort commented:
“Property lawyers are weighed down by onerous and manually intensive processes to verify a client’s identity and source of funds, and then handle their client’s funds. These activities are deeply interlinked and are a cause of significant stress and delay in property exchange, which now takes an average of 16 weeks in the UK.”