Murria joins the likes of Sherry Coutu and Robin Klein as a non-executive at Zoopla, and will bring with her experience of growing a healthcare and business management software company. Founded by Alex Chesterman in 2008, Zoopla is a property website for the residential market that secured rapid growth, culminating in a listing on the London Stock Exchange, after being backed by a duo of UK venture capital firms. Atlas Ventures and Octopus Investments, alongside Silicon Valley Bank, invested a total of $13.4m into Zoopla before the technology business IPO’d in June 2014. Since then, its share price has fluctuated but currently sits approximately 30p higher than its listing price. Prior to setting up Zoopla, Chesterman was part of the team that founded LOVEFiLM – before selling it to Amazon for approximately £200m in early 2011. In an interview with Real Business, Murria said she was drawn to Zoopla because of its status as n “internet-savvy” business led by a serial entrepreneur. Chesterman’s heavy involvement as an investor in a number of technology startups was also appealing, she added.
The composition of the board was also interesting to Murria, she said, with Coutu herself a serial entrepreneur and also a non-executive director at the London Stock Exchange and Raspberry pi – as well as an advisory board member at LinkedIn. Murria is interested in Coutu and Chesterman’s role in scaling-up many of the fast-growth technology startups each are involved with. She brings with her an understanding of the technology space, experience as a serial entrepreneur and an understanding of the “different pressure points” founders have, she indicated in her interview. In statements to the market, Chesterman has frequently stated his intention to turn Zoopla into the market leader – overtaking Rightmove as the most dominant business in the space. Read more about Zoopla:
Like Murria while she was leading Advanced Computer Software, Chesterman has used acquisitions as a way of acquiring market share and new technology. In April, the business announced its biggest deal to date – the £160m purchase of price comparison website uSwtich. The transaction, which was formerly completed earlier in June, was made to provide a “single resource” for all of a consumers’ property needs. Alongside Zoopla, Murria is a non-executive director at Chime Communications, an international communications and sports marketing group, and Greenko, a publicly-listed energy business with close ties to India. Murria also served as a judge in the 2015 First Women Awards and was a panelist at the maiden First Women Summit in February when she spoke about how to rid a boardroom of its macho culture. She was named First Women of Finance at the 2011 awards. By Hunter Ruthven
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