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.
PropertyGuru is the property technology leader across five markets in the region with its portals: Rumah.com in Indonesia, PropertyGuru in Malaysia, PropertyGuru in Singapore, DDproperty.com in Thailand, and Batdongsan.com.vn in Vietnam.
The Group has an estimated 55% market share in SEA, 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 will allow the company to continue investments in technology and solutions. 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.
The new funding also allows the company to finalize the consolidation of Vietnam’s No. 1 property portal Batdongsan.com.vn into the Group. Batdongsan.com.vn has over 4 million monthly property seekers; generates 70 million page views; and 1 million new property listings added into the website every month. Batdongsan.com.vn has a team of 600 staff who are located in 9 cities across 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 and expected to rise to 20th position in global GDP rankings by 2050. Vietnam’s real GDP is expected to expand by 6.8 percent this year one of the fastest growing internet markets in the world – with 67% internet penetration rate, over 70 million unique mobile users, and 55 million active social media users.
Coupled with a burgeoning middle class and rapid urbanization, the market presents tremendous upside opportunities for PropertyGuru. Vietnam
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.”
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.”
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).