SINGAPORE AND SYDNEY, 31 May 2021 – PropertyGuru Group (‘PropertyGuru’ or ‘the Group’), Southeast Asia’s leading property technology (‘Proptech’) company and REA Group (ASX:REA), an ASX listed, global digital business specialising in property marketplaces and data assets, today announced they 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% equity interest in the enlarged PropertyGuru Group and appoint a Director to the Board. The transaction is expected to close in July 2021.
The acquisitions underpin PropertyGuru’s strategy of being the No. 1 Proptech group in Southeast Asia. Home-grown in Singapore, PropertyGuru operates leading property marketplaces in five of the biggest Southeast Asian economies. 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 have the following benefits:
The acquisitions 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,” Olivier 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.
Hari V. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, PropertyGuru Group, said, “The acquisitions of REA Group’s companies in Malaysia and Thailand are a key milestone in PropertyGuru’s history – a Singapore based home-grown company that has over the last fourteen years expanded into four other markets to become the regional Proptech leader with product diversified solutions for the property sector.
We welcome the teams who have built REA Group’s Malaysia and Thailand businesses as they join our team of Gurus. In the months ahead, we will work closely as a team and put in place a strategy that supports our combined businesses in both markets. By combining our resources, we will be able to deliver even more innovation to home seekers, equipping them with the insights they need to make confident decisions. Together we will also enable our customers, the agents and property developers powering the market, to reach an even wider audience and be more efficient in their allocation of resources.
Malaysians have shown a preference for digital research of properties and that they value the tools and services PropertyGuru.com.my and iProperty.com.my provide today. Together we make property searches, pricing trends and financing options more transparent. By combining PropertyGuru’s strengths in technology and proprietary data with iProperty.com.my’s footprint and relationships with developers and agents, we can digitize the property ecosystem and accelerate our goal of creating Southeast Asia’s property “Trust Platform”.
We are excited to welcome to our Group thinkofliving.com and Prakard.com in Thailand. These brands will allow us to deepen our servicing of the primary property market, which are complemented by the market-leading solutions for the Thai resale and rental markets through DDproperty.com. We look forward to making our regional expertise available to the customers of both platforms and offering greater visibility of the whole Thai real estate market,” concluded Hari.
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% 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.
About PropertyGuru Group
PropertyGuru Group is Southeast Asia’s leading property technology company and the preferred destination for 35 million property seekers to find, finance and own their dream home, every month. PropertyGuru and its group of companies empower property seekers with the widest option of more than 2.8 million homes, in-depth insights, and solutions that enable them to make confident property decisions across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
PropertyGuru.com.sg was launched in 2007 and revolutionised the Singapore property market by taking it online and made property search transparent for the property seeker. Over the decade, the group has grown from a regional property media powerhouse to a high-growth technology company with a robust portfolio of No.1 property portals across its core markets; award-winning mobile apps; best-in-class developer sales enablement platform, FastKey; mortgage marketplace PropertyGuru Finance; and a host of industry-leading property offerings including Awards, events and publications across Asia.
About REA Group (www.rea-group.com)
REA Group Ltd ACN 068 349 066 (ASX:REA) (“REA Group”) is a multinational digital advertising business specialising in property. REA Group operates Australia’s leading residential and commercial property websites – realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au – as well as the leading website dedicated to share property, Flatmates.com.au and Spacely, a short-term commercial and coworking property website. REA Group owns Smartline Home Loans Pty Ltd, an Australian mortgage broking franchise group, and PropTrack Pty Ltd, a leading provider of property data services. In Asia, REA Group owns leading portals in Malaysia (iproperty.com.my) and Hong Kong (squarefoot.com.hk), a prominent portal in China (myfun.com) and a leading property review site in Thailand (thinkofliving.com). REA Group holds a controlling interest in India’s Elara Technologies Pte. Ltd. which operates the established brands of Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com. REA Group also holds a significant shareholding in property websites realtor.com in the US, 99.co and iproperty.com.sg in Singapore and rumah123.com in Indonesia.
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