Meet Hugh Gibbs, Co-Founder at PropTech Company: SearchLand

SearchLand is an easy-to-use, map-based property site sourcing tool that empowers companies to become data-driven. Property developers, land agents, architects, or anyone looking to find an off-market lot can use our platform to filter through thousands of potential sites in any given area in England and easily find the few locations that match their criteria – all in a matter of seconds.

There is a lot of data involved in the site finding process, particularly when dealing with unlisted sites. Developers of all sizes can struggle to compile and analyse the necessary information regarding planning constraints and approval ratings, title ownership and boundary info, price paid data, and so forth – SearchLand brings everything you need to know together into one simple search platform, so anyone can put data at the heart of their site sourcing strategy.
SearchLand - All UK Property Data in One Place

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The idea for SearchLand was born out of a lack of available off-market site sourcing platforms. For such an essential part of the development process, it was woefully underserved by intuitive, affordable solutions; any such product or service in the past had either lacked the functionality to front end the due diligence that site sourcing requires, or simply cost too much for smaller developers.

My co-founders and I saw the need for a more suitable, fairly priced solution in the sector, so we began developing our business idea in the spring of 2020, and ten months later SearchLand was launched. Keeping our development phase short has allowed us to remain agile and adaptable in our first 18 months, and to keep our costs down so we can continue to offer fair and affordable pricing.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

The company was effectively born during the pandemic, with our development phase commencing in Spring 2020. For the first nine months we all worked remotely, so by the time we reached MVP stage in January 2021 our system had evolved with working from home as the default, which has meant the various waves of the pandemic didn’t interfere with our internal productivity at all.

In the March of this year, we were accepted onto the Government’s PropTech accelerator Geovation, which has allowed us to increase our productivity even further and enabled growth at an even greater scale.

We are still coming to terms with the true extent of how the pandemic has affected the real estate and construction industries, but we are ideally positioned to support SME developers and housebuilders that are looking to expand and take on new projects.

What can we hope to see from SearchLand in the future?

The SearchLand team took our platform from an idea to the MVP stage in just nine months without any external investment – now, we are fully operational, funded by Geovation, and taking on new clients.

We are already generating revenue and turning a profit, which allows us a lot of freedom in raising additional finance. As we approach the end of 2021, we will look to increase upon the £20,000 investment we have already received from Geovation, which will help grow our business and build on our platform even faster.

Our plans for the future are focused on two main areas: delivering a ‘bespoke’ platform for some of the country’s leading developers and increasing the level of automation within our platform’s site-finding function. Our founding aim is to enable our customers to focus on their core business by reducing their workload through data and increasing automation within our offering allows us to further deliver on that goal.

As for our ‘bespoke’ platform, we are already working with some of England’s top housebuilders to develop solutions to their own specific needs – this means developing new solutions involving acquiring proprietary datasets and creating IP rights software packages that will make sure they remain competitive within the industry for the next decade.