Press Release: PropertyGuru to acquire iProperty Malaysia and welcome REA Group as strategic shareholder
- The two brands will operate separately and home seekers in Malaysia to benefit from combined investment in technology and innovation
- Agents and developers will enjoy larger reach and easier access to home buyers
- PropertyGuru also acquires thinkofliving.com and Prakard.com in Thailand, strengthening its position as Southeast Asia’s Proptech leader
- REA Group to become shareholder and take a seat on PropertyGuru Board
KUALA LUMPUR, 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 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 move underscores the rising importance of Malaysia in Southeast Asia’s Proptech industry in general and for PropertyGuru in specific. A key objective of the transaction is to accelerate the development of the Proptech industry in Malaysia. The addition of iProperty.com.my and Brickz.my will bolster PropertyGuru Malaysia’s ability to provide consumers with the most diverse digital marketplaces, together with the most comprehensive set of data, actionable insights and services to support homeownership aspirations of Malaysians.
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:
- It will enable both companies to combine resources, accelerate innovation and provide enhanced digital solutions to home seekers, property agents and developers.
- It will allow the Group to share the best data solutions and insights and bring transparency and access to the Malaysian property market as it continues to simplify the buying journey for home seekers.
- Leveraging the Group’s larger base of customers, it will enable greater innovation and wider inclusion of Malaysian property agents and developers in the Southeast Asian property ecosystem.
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 industry into an efficient ecosystem that builds trusted relationships between agents, consumers, developers, valuers and banks by driving greater transparency and efficiency.
PropertyGuru is excited to also welcome REA Group as a strategic investor. REA Group is a global company that deeply understands the digital property industry and they join a distinguished group of investors, including KKR and TPG.
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 process. 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.
Whilst the Malaysian real estate market has had a challenging time, exacerbated by COVID-19, recent PropertyGuru insights show local residential investment remains resilient and there is an upsurge in interest for post-pandemic investment. The acquisition of iProperty.com.my will ensure PropertyGuru is well positioned to serve and support the strong demand for home ownership.
Hari V. Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, PropertyGuru Group, said, “This acquisition is a key milestone in PropertyGuru’s history and is an exciting opportunity to integrate a trusted local brand in Malaysia and demonstrates our commitment to the market. We have been operating here for a decade now. Malaysia has always been of strategic importance to the Group – from launching our first fintech value proposition to it being our hub for central functions such as Finance. With this acquisition, we are more than doubling our footprint in Malaysia and we will continue to invest behind the country’s critical role in PropertyGuru.
We welcome the teams who have built iProperty.com.my as they join our team of Gurus. In the weeks and months ahead, we will work closely as a team and put in place a strategy that will enable us to provide the best solutions for Malaysians and take Proptech to new heights here.
iProperty.com.my shares our customer-first philosophy and by working together we will be able to deliver even more innovation to our customers, equipping them with the insights they need to make confident decisions. This acquisition will also enable us to invest even further into building the best solutions for efficiency and audience reach for our customers, Malaysian agents and property developers,” concluded Hari.
Owen Wilson (above image), 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.”
Sheldon Fernandez, Country Manager, PropertyGuru Malaysia, said, “We welcome the opportunity to integrate the iProperty.com.my team into our Group. Malaysians have shown a strong preference for the tools and services PropertyGuru and iProperty provide to make property searches, pricing, and financing options more transparent and accessible. We have made great progress over this past decade, but there is still a lot more work to do. Combining PropertyGuru’s strengths in technology and proprietary data with iProperty.com.my’s national footprint and deep relationships with developers and agents will accelerate our mission to ensure everyone has access to the data and insights they need to make confident home buying decisions.”
David Mawer, Chief Operating Officer of REA Group Asia, said, “The coming together of our two great companies is an exciting next step. We look forward to combining our expertise to bring to life a shared mission of advancing the digital property ecosystem in Malaysia.”
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