PropertyGuru Group, Asia’s property technology group, has secured S$200 million (approx.) [US$145 million] in a Series D round of funding by global investment firm KKR. As one of the most active private equity investors in Southeast Asia (SEA), KKR boasts a long track record of successful partnerships with leading technology companies across Asia and now joins PropertyGuru’s coveted board of investors alongside TPG, Emtek and Square Peg Capital.
This investment round bolsters PropertyGuru’s leadership in SEA with the full consolidation of Vietnam’s No. 1 property portal Batdongsan.com.vn into the Group, also announced today. The consolidation underscores the Group’s commitment to Vietnam and collaboration with Batdongsan.com.vn that started in 2016. Vietnam’s economic growth is robust with GDP projected to expand by 6.8 per cent in 2018. PropertyGuru is the property technology leader across five markets in the region with its portals: PropertyGuru in Singapore and Malaysia, DDproperty.com in Thailand, Rumah.com in Indonesia and Batdongsan.com.vn in Vietnam. In SEA, the Group has 55 per cent market share, reflecting the strong preference of property seekers for PropertyGuru’s portals. The Group also runs Asia’s most prestigious property awards brand, Asia Property Awards in 11 key markets across Asia.
The funding round provides significant impetus to PropertyGuru’s leading position as a high-growth technology company in the region. The Group will continue to fuel investments in technology and bring solutions that benefit home seekers, real estate agents and property developers. Earlier this year, the Group unveiled a successful Brand Refresh with revamped websites and mobile apps that are powered by Artificial Intelligence – an industry first in SEA.
Hari V. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer, PropertyGuru Group, said, “This new investment is a great validation of the technology-driven growth that PropertyGuru has delivered. Backed by a decade of market leadership in Southeast Asia and delivering a record year for business performance – today the Group is profitable, cash flow positive and has revenues growing more than 25 percent year-on-year. We are pleased to have KKR, a blue-chip tech investor, join our board, as we have ambitious plans for innovation and growth in the decade ahead.”
Mr Krishnan continued, “We first invested in Batdongsan in 2016 and have been impressed with their very strong market leadership fuelled by delivering great value to the Vietnamese property sector. Today, we reinforce our commitment to Vietnam with the consolidation of Batdongsan. We look forward to making our regional expertise fully available to Vietnamese property seekers as well as to help the country’s real estate industry benefit from ASEAN integration.”
Ashish Shastry, Member & Head of Southeast Asia, KKR, said, “We are thrilled to be investing in PropertyGuru, one of the most exciting tech-enabled businesses in Southeast Asia. With rapid online migration well underway across many industries, the PropertyGuru team, led by Hari V. Krishnan, has clearly established itself as the Southeast Asian champion in the online property space. We look forward to partnering with them to help take them to the next level.”
KKR’s investment in PropertyGuru is being funded from KKR Asian Fund III. The investment is part of the firm’s strategy to invest in high-growth markets that the firm believes can benefit from a rapid increase in technology adoption. Other technology investments KKR has recently announced in Southeast Asia include Voyager Innovations (the technology company in the Philippines focused on digital payments, digital finance, and marketing technologies) and Go-Jek (Indonesia’s on-demand mobile platform for ride hailing, food delivery, and mobile payments).
Ganen Sarvananthan, Chairman of the PropertyGuru Group Board and Co-Managing Partner of TPG Capital Asia, said, “We are excited with the two significant developments of the company. We welcome KKR as an investor and representatives on the board and look forward to working with them to accelerate PropertyGuru’s growth across the region. Vietnam is an important market for us; integrating Batdongsan into the PropertyGuru family will help to penetrate new verticals and increase sales in the market.”
Lê Xuân Trường, Batdongsan Founder and Managing Director, said, “Batdongsan and PropertyGuru Group have had a long-standing partnership and we are very pleased to cement that today as PropertyGuru invests further in the business. Batdongsan continues to be the market leader in Vietnam. We are proud of what we have achieved to date and are excited about the next phase of Batdongsan’s growth as it becomes part of Southeast Asia’s leading online property Group. PropertyGuru brings the region’s best real estate opportunities and technology expertise and with these, we will better serve the needs of property seekers in one of the fastest growing property and digital markets of Southeast Asia.”
Batdongsan.com.vn has over 4 million monthly property seekers generating 70 million page views and over 1 million new property listings added every month. The market success of Batdongsan.com.vn is credited to its strong team of over 600, spread over 9 cities in Vietnam.
Expected to rise to 20th in global GDP rankings by 2050, Vietnam is primed to be the world’s fastest growing large economy from now to 2050. The country’s real GDP expanded nearly 7.4 percent during the first quarter of this year and is expected to expand by 6.8 percent this year (up from 6.5 percent in World Bank’s previous forecast). Coupled with a burgeoning middle class and rapid urbanisation, the market presents tremendous upside opportunities for PropertyGuru. Vietnam is also one of the fastest growing internet markets in the world – with 67 percent internet penetration, over 70 million unique mobile users, and 55 million active social media users as of this year.