Frontier Digital Ventures exits investment in Vietnam-based Propzy

ASX-listed Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV) has fully divested its 20 per cent stake in Vietnam-based online real estate classifieds startup Propzy for a cash consideration of $4.7 million.

The sale generated about 300 per cent return for FDV, the Malaysia-headquartered firm said in a regulatory filing.

FDV chose to divest its stake due to an upcoming funding round in Propzy that was likely to increase the startup’s losses at the EBITDA level and dilute FDV’s ownership to less than 10 per cent, it added.

FDV first invested $1.2 million in Propzy in 2017. The exit is the first material monetisation event for the Catcha Group-backed firm.

Meanwhile, Propzy told DealStreetAsia earlier that it was in the process of raising a $25 million Series B round. So far, the startup has raised a total of $12 million from investors including Stonebridge Capital, Insignia Ventures, GS Shop, TNB Aura and Next Billion Ventures, in addition to FDV.

Propzy enjoyed a 417 per cent expansion in revenue in 2019 fiscal year, representing the highest growth amongst FDV’s portfolio companies.

However, the Vietnamese startup represented over 50 per cent of the EBITDA loss in FDV’s last fiscal results, according to Shaun Di Gregorio, founder and CEO of FDV.

“Despite Propzy’s strong revenue growth, we believe the sale of our shareholding represented an attractive opportunity to fast-track FDV’s pathway to achieving portfolio-wide profitability in 2020,” he said.

“Consistent with FDV’s stated strategy, we continue to assess a range of opportunities to optimise our portfolio mix and increase shareholder value.”

FDV said it will use proceeds from the share disposal to opportunistically increase ownership of the better-performing companies within its portfolio.

In December 2019, the early-stage investor increased its ownership in Latin American startup Infocasas from 31.9 per cent to 51 per cent and in Filipino car classifieds portal AutoDeal from 37 per cent to 56 per cent.

FDV revealed that four investees recorded positive EBITDA in the last fiscal year, including Pakistan’s property portal Zameen, Infocasas, iMyanmar and AutoDeal, in addition to two additional companies earning the same in the last quarter of 2019, which are Encuentra24 and Moteur.

In total, FDV witnessed an annual growth in portfolio revenue of 6.2x on a company economic share basis since its IPO in 2016.

Focused on the property and automotive marketplaces in emerging markets, FDV’s existing investments currently comprise 11 companies across 13 different markets. In 2018, the firm raised A$11.2 million ($8 million) through an institutional entitlement offer.

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.