Rival to estate agents launched

The founders of Poundland and Match.com launched an estate agency firm yesterday that aims to challenge its high street rivals by replacing commission rates with a fixed fee. Steve Smith and Darren Richards said they plan to expand EstatesDirect.com across the UK after piloting the business since 2012 in Worcestershire, where it has sold and let more than 500 homes. It recently raised £660,000 through crowdfunding.