Online property portal PropertyGuru bags $130 million investment

Steve Melhuish, CEO of PropertyGuru Group.

Singapore headquartered property portal PropertyGuru Tuesday said it had raised S$175 million ($130 million) from a strategic consortium of investors including leading private equity firm TPG, Indonesia’s largest media group Emtek and Asia Pacific-based tech venture capital firm Square Peg Capital.

This marks the largest funding round in a Southeast Asian tech company this year.

The portal said it will use the funding to accelerate growth in Southeast Asia, while committing additional capital for innovation, marketing and expansion in the region.

The deal will also see Scout24 – previously a minority shareholder – exit PropertyGuru to focus on its core wholly-owned property and car online classified businesses in Europe.

All three investors are expected to join PropertyGuru’s board when the deal is completed later this month. Besides, the three investors also bring on board extensive expertise in having invested in online and tech firms in the region.

Currently, in terms of market share, PropertyGuru is the largest regional player across Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, and the company said it gets over 11 million monthly consumer visits, 104 million page views and added that it had witnessed a 28 per cent traffic growth per annum, with mobile making up 52 per cent of total traffic.

The value of real estate transactions through the PropertyGuru platform is estimated to be S$14 billion per annum; an approximate 10 per cent of all property transactions in the region, the company said.

“PropertyGuru has built its track record on a vision of consumer-centric innovation that empowers people to make better property decisions. We will capitalise on this investment to tap into the Southeast Asia property market potential and developments in the digital space to further our regional agenda,” said Steve Melhuish, CEO and co-founder of PropertyGuru.

“PropertyGuru is already the region’s leading real estate platform, with exciting growth prospects. It represents a great addition to TPG’s Asia portfolio as well as strengthens our global internet investment reach. We look forward to lending our industry expertise to pursue growth, in partnership with the PropertyGuru team, Emtek Group and Square Peg. Together, we believe we can further reinforce PropertyGuru’s already powerful brand, as we’ve done with similar portfolio companies across the globe,” said Ganen Sarvananthan, TPG Partner and managing director.

TPG already owns complementary internet and real estate companies in its portfolio, including Uber, Airbnb, Lynda.com, SurveyMonkey, RentPath and 8990 (Philippines), among others.

Paul Bassat, partner and co-founder of Square Peg, said, “Square Peg sees tremendous potential for PropertyGuru to continue to innovate and expand on its market leading positions in multiple geographies. This investment underscores Square Peg’s philosophy of building and investing in businesses, which have the capacity to leverage multiple growth levers from positions of strength.”

Emtek Group is already PropertyGuru’s partner in Indonesia and the deal will trengthen the relationship, the company said

Emtek Group’s commissioner, Jay Wacher said, “Consistent with Emtek’s focus of investing in technologies that shape businesses and the broader society and where it can leverage its media expertise, this investment in PropertyGuru presents a prime opportunity for us to deepen our exposure to the online classified’s business. Our investment is aimed at fast-tracking PropertyGuru’s plans to innovate ahead of market needs and extend its leadership in the property space.”

PropertyGuru’s main competitor in the region is 99.co , which earlier this year had secured additional funding to the tune of $1.6 million led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Sequoia Capital, taking the total investment in the portal to S$2.7 million ($2 million) and a valuation of $8 million.

It will also face competition from TheEdgeProperty.com that will be officially launched in Singapore on July 25, after having made a successful debut in Malaysia on May 7.

Currently, the site is live. Recently, Singaporean billionaire investor Peter Lim has taken a 20 per cent equity interest this property portal by Malaysia’s Edge Media Group, for an undisclosed amount

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