Singapore-based property listing portal 99.co has raised S$11 million (US$7.9 million) in a round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Sequoia Capital India Advisors Private Limited, who are existing investors in the company.
Other participating existing investors include East Ventures and 500 Startups.
99.co CEO Darius Cheung told e27 that 20 per cent of the newly-raised capital will be used to accelerate its tech and R&D, while the rest of it will go towards funding its growth to eight cites in Indonesia. 99.co first launched in two of Indonesia’s cities, Jakarta and Surabaya, back in January this year.
Despite the rise of competing property listing sites such as Popety and Averspace, which piled extra features such blockchain tech to enhance their value proposition to prospective users, 99.co believes it still has a firm standing in the market.
“We believe in helping the 99 per cent make the best property decisions, which in part means providing the widest selection of options and in other part, the most powerful decision tools, and that’s what we would focus on,” said Cheung.
99.co claimed that in 2016, its user base grew more than 150 per cent year-on-year to more than 2.5 million. It also claimed that its transactional volume grew 188 per cent month-on-month for the last 12 months, and is currently over US$90 million on an annual-run-rate basis.
“We are excited about the success we have seen in a matter of months since our launch, delivering value to consumers and to our property developers and agencies partners. We look forward to continue being a great technology partner and to operate in eight more cities by end of this year,”said Irvan Ariesdhana, Country Manager of 99.co Indonesia, in an official press release.
Expanding into Indonesia did not come without its challenges, given the country’s fragmented market and under-developed tech infrastructure compared to Singapore.
Cheung said heavy tech adaptations had to be made on the platform to cater to that market.
“Heavy focus on the Android [OS], catering to smaller screen, less powerful devices and low bandwidth are all basic adaptations that are expected. But beyond that, it’s also cultural adaptations to a much more social and much less utilitarian culture compared to Singapore,” said Cheung.
Image Credit: 99.co