PropertyGuru, Asia’s leading property portal group, today announced that it has secured a SGD$60 Million strategic investment from ImmobilienScout24, Europe’s top property portal group and a subsidiary of global company Deutsche Telekom, making it one of the biggest online deals in Asia this year. The investment also reenforces the rapidly emerging online media opportunity in South East Asia.
The investment will further strengthen PropertyGuru’s leading market position and support the company’s continued innovation focus, developing services to help its clients find and advertise properties, as well as support further expansion within the region. It will also give PropertyGuru access to additional talent and expert resoures, with both parties working closely together to share ideas, best practices and develop new services.
Some of the impressive stats shared by PropertyGuru during the press conference includes its presence in nine countries, directly and indirectly via partners. The company’s websites are also used by some 8.2 million buyers, viewing over 65 million property pages and generating over 200,000 sales enquiries for advertisers every month.
The strategic investment is motivated by the huge Southeast Asia property market where in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand alone, the property advertising is a S$880 million dollar industry, according to Steve Melhuish, CEO and cofounder of PropertyGuru Group. On top of that, Steve also shared that the reason why they were able to generate investment interests from a total of nine interested parties over the past two years can be attributed to its innovation focus. In just 18 months, the portfolio of PropertyGuru grew from just one to seven online sites, and has 12 mobile apps which is available in four countries. PropertyGuru is also the first in Asia to integrate its website with social media. 20 percent of the 240 PropertyGuru staffs are also dedicated to product development.
When asked about how much stake the investment gives ImmobilienScout24, Steve Melhuish revealed that the investment only gives a minority stake to ImmobilienScout24. This is probably due to a several round of investments prior to this. PropertyGuru started off with a S$300,000 seed funding back in 2006, and received a S$2million round in 2008, and a recent S$5 million round back in 2011.
We also had the chance to speak to Martin Enderle, CEO at Scout24 group on whether the rise of short term rental accomodation platform such as AirBnB will affect the amazing growth of PropertyGuru. Martin shared that short term rental platforms are complementary to the vision of PropertyGuru as opposed to a competition. For PropertyGuru, the queries are divided into a 70 percent sales queries and 30 percent rental queries, and of the rental queries, most of the users are looking for a long term rental.
Scout24 group has also invested in 9Flats, the major player in the short term rental industry in Europe.