Mekong-focused Belt Road Capital injects $1.8m in Digital Classified Group for SEA push

(From left) Tom O'Sullivan,CEO of Realestate.com.kh, Alex Odem chief investment officer of BRCM and Chenda Moek founder of Realestate.com.kh.

Mekong-focused private equity firm Belt Road Capital Management (BRCM) has invested AUD $2.25 million ($1.8 million) in Digital Classified Group (DCG), an online classified group based in Australia.

DCG is behind leading online property classified realestate.com.kh and other handful of classified platforms established in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Laos.

The investment will help DCG’s expansion plans across Southeast Asia where Internet penetration has seen a surge with rapid urbanization, said Mathew Care, CEO of DCG.

“We believe that our experience, platforms and committed expatriate and local teams are capable of tackling almost any new opportunities and this additional capital and partnership gives DCG the ability to do this,” said Care.

This is the maiden investment by BRCM, which is expected to foster the platforms particularly in countries exposed to China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ policy.

The real estate focused platforms of DCG’s portfolio are realestate.com.kh in Cambodia which has got over 47,000 listings for rent and sales and has announced the facilitation of over $30 million of direct sales through two events in 2017.

Hausples.com.pg is another portfolio property platform in Papua New Guinea with over 2,000 listings. Property.com.fj in Fiji has made claims to have over 1500 listings.

Other general classified platforms like yula.la in Laos, marketmeri.com in Papua New Guinea and market.com.fj in Fiji offers a number of products including cars, jobs, real estate, and other services like clothing, telecom and food.

“Having seen the swift growth of DCG’s business in Cambodia, and a high level of professionalism across their local and international operations, I was more than confident to introduce the opportunity to the equity partners of Belt Road,’’ said Alex Odom, chief investment officer at Belt Road Capital Management.

The PE firm hopes to partner with SMEs in the Greater Mekong Sub-regions, consisting Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

BRCM has launched an initial fundraising of up to $50 million and looking to launch subsequent investment funds in the near future.

According to the new report by Google and Temasek, Southeast Asia’s internet economy is expected to cross by $200 billion by 2025 and is estimated at $50 billion by the end of 2017.

SEA’s online economy is estimated at 2 per cent of the region’s GDP and to reach 6 percent of GDP by 2025. The growth is driven by the rising smartphone usage in the region which is estimate to 330 million monthly active users by the end of 2017.

Also Read:

HDFC to sell real estate brokerage, online property classifieds to Quikr India for $54.7m

Malaysia: Frontier Digital Ventures buys 3 online classified portals from Africa’s Jumia

Malaysia’s Frontier Digital Ventures backs Philippine property portal Hoppler

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.