Thailand-based online real estate search startup, HipFlat, has announced that it has secured a sum of US$335,000 from international angel investors. The funding was provided by Singaporean angel investment firms Crystal Horse Investments and 8capita, whom the HipFlat team met during Echelon 2013. Other investors include a Thailand-based group of angel investors led by Kris Nalamlieng, as well as Chang Ng – a serial entrepreneur and angel investor from the Netherlands.
Over the past six months, HipFlat claims to have been recording monthly double-digit percentage growth in nearly every aspect of its business, including number of searches, user sign-ups, property inquiries and revenue. At the same time, its team has grown to 10 people, up from the original four when it first started.
HipFlat aims to be the most consumer-friendly property search website in Southeast Asia. Its key features include:
The above features, according to Denis Nemtsev, CEO, HipFlat, have led to the website’s popularity among Thai property buyers and sellers. “Since the website launched we have been receiving a lot of positive feedback from customers who love the ease of use of our map-based search platform and the market data HipFlat provides. Over 30 per cent of the users, who tried HipFlat once, become repeat visitors,” he said.
HipFlat is a game-changing service not only for ordinary home-buyers, but for real estate professionals as well. The company’s revenue comes from property agents who pay for the opportunity to receive inquiries from home-buyers. In return HipFlat guarantees to deliver new customer leads and eliminates the need for prospecting, allowing agents to focus on the essence of property business – helping customers find their new homes.
Pongpakorn Thamsubhong, Marketing Manager, AQ Estate, elaborates: “During our feasibility study, market research and analysis for a new residential project we often have a choice of up to 50 land plots to acquire. The data on prices, rental yields and existing supply that is available on HipFlat comes in very handy for our decision-making process and saves us a lot of time.”
As a result, HipFlat’s audience reflects current condominium market trends in Thailand closely. Over 90 per cent of inquiries come from Thai nationals, while the rest are from expats. Nearly every district in Bangkok is covered, with condo prices varying from tens of thousands to millions of US dollars. Thirty-three per cent of the inquiries are for rentals while 66 per cent are from people looking to buy.
With its proven business model in place, at its current stage of accelerated growth, HipFlat is now preparing for the next funding round, aiming for expansion to other Southeast Asian countries in 2014. It competes with PomPome.com