PropTiger.com and Housing.com announce merger; Jason Kothari to exit
- PropTiger and Housing.com Come Together to Become India’s Largest Digital Real Estate Company
- REA Group Joins News Corp and SoftBank in Strengthening India’s Digital Real Estate Sector
- US$55 Million Fresh Investment in the Joint Entity is the Largest Investment in India’s Digital Real Estate Sector in the Last Two Years
PropTiger.com and Housing.com have announced that the two will merge to create a new online real estate service provider. Jason Kothari, CEO, Housing.com will resign from his post and leave the company by the end of February 2017. The company said that Dhruv Agarwala, co-founder and CEO of PropTiger, will serve as CEO of the joint entity.
PropTiger.com, in a statement, said, "As part of the transaction, REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) will invest $50 million in the joint entity with an affiliate of SoftBank Group Corp, investing $5 million."
Dhruv Agarwala, Co-founder & CEO of PropTiger said, “We are excited to join hands with Housing.com. The deal is a continuation of our efforts to bring best in class services to consumers and create a unified technology driven platform that is capable of serving all needs of consumers, developers and brokers with respect to buying selling and renting of homes. Housing has established itself as a formidable online brand and we admire its consumer centric product innovation. The timing of this deal is just right."
News Corp remains the largest shareholder of PropTiger, and also owns 61.6% of REA Group. Representatives of REA and SoftBank will join the board of the joint entity, which will continue to be chaired by a News Corp representative, the company said.
Henry Ruiz, Chief Digital Officer, REA Group, Simon Barnett, Sales Director, News Corp and Jonathan Bullock, MD, SoftBank Group International will join Raju Narisetti (chair), Ravi Adusumalli from SAIF Partners and Prashanth Prakash from Accel Partners as investor directors on the board of the joint entity.
The joint entity will draw on strengths of PropTiger, Housing.com and Makaan.com to offer a unique holistic experience to consumers, real estate developments, brokers and homeowners.
PropTiger is the largest online residential real estate brokerage firm, having completed transactions worth $1.5 billion since its founding in 2011, while Housing.com is India’s most popular online platform for buying and selling homes, receiving over four million visits every month, it said.
The joint entity will be the only player in India offering the full range of online and offline services in the real estate space, such as personalized search, virtual viewing, site visits, legal and financial diligence, negotiations, property registration, home loans and post- sales service.
Commenting on the investment, REA Group CEO Tracy Fellows said “India is an important part of our international growth strategy. We believe in the potential of the Indian real estate market. REA invests in companies that are leaders in their markets. The joint entity will have access to REA Group’s expertise and know-how from its operations across the globe.”
SoftBank Group International MD Jonathan Bullock said, “Housing is very well established as an online real estate platform brand and we have been working with the management team to create strong execution capabilities to offer full stack services under one umbrella. PropTiger has already created a great transaction engine. We have full confidence in the management team and will continue to support them. We would particularly like to thank Jason for his leadership and wish him well for his future endeavor.”
The union will immediately strengthen PropTiger’s full stack Online-to-Offline (O2O) services proposition. In April, 2015, PropTiger acquired online classifieds platform Makaan.com to launch India’s first O2O platform, aiding consumers throughout their home buying journey, from initial search and discovery to the final step of transaction closure.