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Citi group invests $35 million in realty portals PropTiger, Housing & Makaan.com

Singapore based Elara Technologies would hire 150 employees to strengthen its sales team, taking the total headcount to 1,500.

August 20, 2018 / 02:02 PM IST
Foreign exchange earnings totaled USD
24 billion in January-October 2019, with a
growth (year-on-year) of two percent.

Foreign exchange earnings totaled USD 24 billion in January-October 2019, with a growth (year-on-year) of two percent.

News Corp backed Elara Technologies, which owns realty portals Housing.com, PropTiger.com and Makaan.com, has raised $35 million (around Rs 245 crore) as debt from Citi Singapore to invest in new products, technology and expansion for next phase of growth, a top company official said.

Singapore based Elara Technologies would hire 150 employees to strengthen its sales team, taking the total headcount to 1,500, said Dhruv Agarwala, who is group CEO of all the three portals Housing, PropTiger and Makaan.

News Corp and its Australia-based group firm REA as well as SAIF Partners, Softbank and Accel Partners are major shareholders in Elara Technologies, a digital real estate marketing and transactions services firm.

"We have raised $35 million fund from Citi Singapore as debt. This amount will be used for investing in technology, product, branding, strengthening of sales team and geographical expansion of all the three platforms," Agarwala said.

Elara Technologies has raised $105 million so far from investors as equity and this is the first time that the company is raising debt, he added.

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"We currently have offices in 10 major cities of the country and now we want to further expand our business in domestic as well as international markets. We will hire 150 people by December in our sales team," Agarwala said.

Stating that technology is key to its business, he said the company will invest in bringing new features for personalisation, improving conversion rate, and natural language processing based search.

Elara Technologies is currently growing at a rate of more than 50 per cent year-on-year, he said, and expected that this funding would catalyse the next phase of growth and build its leadership in the rapidly expanding digital real estate space in India.

"India's real estate sector is growing at a healthy pace on the back of strong overall market demand. This transaction demonstrates our confidence in Elara Technologies' growth potential and the opportunity that we see in India's digital real estate market over the next few years," said Wong Sin Ping, Global Subsidiaries Group Head of Citi Singapore.

Elara Technologies first founded PropTiger.com in 2011 and then acquired Makaan.com in May 2015. In a major consolidation in the Indian online real estate business, Elara had acquired Housing.com in January 2017, a start-up founded in 2012 by around dozen IIT graduates.

Following the acquisition of Housing.com, the company completed a restructuring exercise to ensure optimal utilisation of resources.

While, PropTiger helps developers in selling flats available in primary market, Makaan.com largely deals in buy sell of resale properties. Housing.com is a classified platform for developers, brokers and home-owners.

On the operation front, Elara said that the revenues of Housing.com more than doubled in fiscal year 2018, helping it become one of the top three players in the digital real estate classified business.

PropTiger's revenue grew by 40 per cent during the first half of 2018, it said and expected this platform to become profitable this fiscal year. Since inception, PropTiger has facilitated the sales of close to 20,000 homes worth nearly $2 billion.

Makaan.com, which has a total of 9 lakh properties listed on its platform, has witnessed a 300 percent growth in revenue in H1 2018 over the same period last year. Elara said the acquisition of Housing.com helped the company in offering a comprehensive range of real estate services.
PTI
Tags: #Business
first published: Aug 20, 2018 02:00 pm

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