Igglo

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Igglo was a Finnish real estate broker startup. Igglo relied strongly on the web and offers a web service with photographs and data of buildings plotted on a map. By using the internet as a tool they promised to halve real estate commissions.

The company was founded in February 2006 by chairman and of the Finnish media-agency Taivas, Jussi Nurmio and Mikko Ranin, the son of the Finnish actor Matti Ranin. Matti Kasso, the former CEO of Huoneistokeskus, was appointed the position of vice CEO, but left the company in January 2008.

In October 2006 Benchmark Capital Europe and Taivas Group announced an additional investment of € 12.5 Million to accelerate the expansion of Igglo further into Europe.

Igglo was the first Finnish real estate broker to focus strongly on the internet by introducing the first web service to rely strongly on Web 2.0 technologies to the local market. In addition the company introduced the concepts of earmarking a building and silent selling an apartment on the web.

Earmarking enables people to select buildings they are interested in. If an apartment becomes available the customer is contacted by the company's customer service. Silent sell enables people to evaluate the demand for their apartment by creating an ad that is published on the web site.

Igglo claimed to be the third largest real estate broker in the Helsinki metropolitan area and it employed over seventy people in Finland. The company expanded to Oslo, Norway in April 2007. It failed to gain ground and declared bankruptcy in February 2008.

On September 8, 2008 the company informed that it is ceasing brokering business and is selling the Finnish Internet functions to Sanoma Oy.

Criticism[edit]

In 2006 there was much debate over the legality of the actions of the company (photographing buildings and posting them on the internet). The Finnish justice system declared that photographing buildings does not violate the local privacy laws.

Similar concerns have arisen in Norway, but action against the company is yet to be taken. The U.S company Zillow.com has faced similar problems.[citation needed]

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