PropertyGuru Acquires iProperty Malaysia and thinkofliving Thailand
PropertyGuru and REA Group, an ASX listed, global digital business specialising in property marketplaces and data assets, have entered into an agreement whereby PropertyGuru will acquire all of the shares in REA Group’s operating entities in Malaysia and Thailand, which operate iProperty.com.my and Brickz.my in Malaysia and thinkofliving.com and Prakard.com in Thailand. As part of the agreement, REA Group will receive an 18 per cent equity interest in the enlarged PropertyGuru Group and appoint a director to the Board. The transaction is expected to close in July 2021.
The addition of these businesses will bolster PropertyGuru’s ability to provide home seekers with transparent and easy access to the most comprehensive set of data, actionable insights, and services to support their homeownership aspirations in Southeast Asia.
PropertyGuru.com.my and iProperty.com.my are two rapidly growing and best-in-class property marketplaces in Malaysia. The two brands have unique and complementary audiences and the transaction will see both brands retained. The acquisition will enable both companies to combine resources, accelerate innovation and provide enhanced digital solutions to home seekers, property agents and developers. Furthermore, it will also accelerate PropertyGuru’s ambition of becoming the “Trust Platform” for the property ecosystem: A platform that connects Southeast Asia’s property markets into an efficient ecosystem that builds trusted relationships between agents, consumers, developers, valuers and banks by driving greater transparency and efficiency.
Building on the success of REA Group’s Malaysian and Thailand businesses, the transaction will provide REA with a strategic shareholding in a larger, more diversified company in a region that continues to experience rapid digital transformation across the real estate sector.
Olivier Lim, Chairman of the Board, PropertyGuru Group, said, “A key part of PropertyGuru’s success has been its laser focus on anticipating and addressing the unique needs of consumers in our region by investing in continuous innovation. As a Singapore based and home-grown, regional Proptech leader, this is a key milestone in PropertyGuru’s history. It is an exciting and significant step in our vision to provide ever greater value to our customers across a broader addressable market in Southeast Asia.
We are excited to welcome REA Group—a global leader in the digital property industry – as a strategic shareholder, joining a distinguished group of technology investors, including KKR and TPG. REA Group’s deep sector insights will bolster PropertyGuru’s capabilities. We look forward to working together and cater fully to the trending consumer preferences in Southeast Asia. This will further accelerate the digitalisation of the property sector of this exciting region,” he concluded.
Hamish McLennan, Chairman, REA Group, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with PropertyGuru – a leading Proptech company in Southeast Asia. We have been very impressed by the management team, led by Hari V. Krishnan, and look forward to supporting them with their ambitious plans for the digitisation of the property industry in this dynamic region.”
PropertyGuru has been operating in Malaysia for the past decade and has witnessed a clear shift in consumer preferences for online solutions that simplify the home searching and buying journey. PropertyGuru’s success in Malaysia, with over 12 million monthly visits, is a result of substantial investments over the years. This has allowed the marketplace to deliver innovative solutions to consumers, including a market-first mortgage pre-approval solution in 2019, last year’s landmark Asia’s first virtual property expo that saw an overwhelming response from Malaysia, and the Group’s acquisition of MyProperty Data, Malaysia’s largest online property data company.
In Thailand, PropertyGuru operates the No. 1 property marketplace under the brand DDproperty.com, and attracts over three million visits each month.
Owen Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, REA Group, said, “We are excited about the opportunity to bring these great businesses together. REA and the PropertyGuru team share a similar vision of the incredible opportunities in the region. Joining with the PropertyGuru Group creates new opportunities for collaboration and access to a deeper pool of expertise, technology and investment. It positions these already strong brands well to accelerate the next wave of Proptech innovation in Southeast Asia.”
REA Group has made excellent progress in Malaysia and Thailand. Key highlights include the successful launch of iProperty PRO, a Proptech tool that provides property agent customers with property data insights, powered by Brickz.my, to reach the largest pool of property seekers in Malaysia. In addition, moving into the fintech space with the launch of Loancare which helps consumers establish their home loan eligibility with up to 17 banks. Loancare also identifies which banks are most likely to lend to people based on their debt to service ratio criteria.
This transaction comes at an extraordinary time for PropertyGuru. Despite all the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic over the past year, PropertyGuru grew monthly visits to 35 million regionally and continues to be the regional Proptech leader with over 50 per cent share in Southeast Asia. This strong performance has been driven by solid execution and additional investment in strategic areas of growth, including its mortgage offering – PropertyGuru Finance, accelerated innovation with virtual solutions such as guided virtual tours, high adoption of its end-to-end sales enablement solution for property developers – PropertyGuru FastKey; and data capabilities to empower property seekers across Southeast Asia to ‘Find.Finance.Own’ their homes.