Millionaire Zoopla founder invests further in Mishcon-backed lawtech app

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By Aishah Hussain on

Thirdfort lets property lawyers verify client details and source of funds in minutes

The multi-millionaire founder of property site Zoopla has invested further in a lawtech start-up which has also received the backing of London law firm Mischon de Reya.

Thirdfort, an anti-money laundering app that lets property lawyers and conveyancers verify client credentials in minutes, secured £1.5 million in its latest funding round, with the backing of existing investors including Alex Chesterman, the founder of Zoopla, LoveFilm and online car retailer Cazoo, as well as further backing from Mishcon de Reya, among others. The funds were doubled via a convertible loan from the government, as part of its Future Fund programme.

The hefty cash injection brings the legal tech start-up’s total funds to £4.2 million.

The funding will be used to support expansion in the legal and property sectors for the digital ID and anti-money-laundering app, particularly in light of HM Land Registry’s recently introduced Digital ID Standard.

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Thirdfort was part of Mishcon’s ‘MDR LAB’, an incubator programme for start-ups operating in the legal space, in 2018.

The team’s headcount grew from 12 to 54 between January 2020 and February 2021, owing to the pandemic, and is used to remotely onboard over 30,000 clients each month (a ten-fold increase on pre-pandemic numbers) on behalf of more than 500 law firms and property businesses.

Chesterman’s estimated net worth is £360 million and in 2013, he was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He said: “My passion in business is for solving problems, and the team at Thirdfort has developed a product that tackles an issue affecting hundreds of thousands of us each year — the cumbersome process of buying and selling homes.”

Chesterman continued: “This hasn’t changed for decades and is ripe for transformation, particularly around the compliance aspects that affect not just consumers and their lawyers, but also agents, brokers and lenders. We also see huge scope to develop what the platform can offer to the wider legal profession.”

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