News Corp Raises Its Stake In PropTiger To 30%

News Corp has announced that it has raised its stake in the Elara Technologies, the parent company of online real estate portal PropTiger.

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The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but News Corp has increased its stake in Elara to about 30%, up from 25% with an investment of $30 million in November 2014.

Since the investment last year, PropTiger has acquired design firm Out of Box Interaction (OoBI) and rival Makaan.com to take on CommonFloor, Housing and MagicBricks.

With India’s Internet and Property sectors booming, the time is ripe for online real estate portals. We’ve seen massive rounds of funding and a lot of consolidation in the market.

PropTiger is one of the many bets News Corp is making in the online real estate sector, with the firm having investments in Australia’s REA Group (realestate.com.au), US OperatesRealtor and luxury real estate portal MansionGlobal.

PropTiger Co-Founder Prashan Agarwal Quits The Company

The Co-founder of the real estate platform, PropTiger, Prashan Agarwal has exited the company. The company made fresh appointments to the senior positions to strengthen the team.

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The former Chief Executive Officer of Karvy Private Wealth Sunil Mishra joined as the Chief Business Officer, Rohit Hasteer (previously with MakeMyTrip) as Chief Human Resources Officer and the former marketing head at India Today Group Neeraj Chaturvedi as Chief Marketing Officer.

“These appointments will help us to consolidate our leadership position in the online real estate space and enable us to build on our strong track record of growth and execution”, says Dhruv Agarwala, Co-Founder & CEO, PropTiger.

Prashan Agarwal, Co-founder, has decided to pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities after more than 4 years with the company.

 

PropTiger and Makaan Join Forces; Will Offer End to End Services

PropTiger has entered into a transaction with Makaan.com that brings the two platforms together, creating a comprehensive online real-estate platform, one that will offer end-to-end services to home buyers, real estate developers, property brokers, banks and private equity investors. proptiger_thumb.gif

“Together, PropTiger.com and Makaan.com will provide home buyers with a powerful online real estate platform to guide them through the early stages of home search and identification and all the way until they have the keys to their dream home,” said Dhruv Agarwala, Co-founder & CEO, PropTiger.
The fully assisted home buying experience will include being able to shortlist the right set of homes from a wide array of listings online, and then having a personalized service that helps with site visits, price negotiations, documentation, home financing, registration and post sales services.”

 
Since 2011, some 12,000 homes worth US$ 1.2 billion have been purchased through the PropTiger.com platform. It has a team of over 500 people including engineers, product experts and property advisors in eight major Indian cities.
Makaan has around 200,000 active property listings and relationships with 40,000 brokers in 50 Indian cities. Some 40% of Makaan.com’s traffic comes from mobile.
Earlier this month, PropTiger acquired Bangalore-based Out of Box Interaction (OoBI).
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

PropTiger Acquires OoBI To Enhance Customer Experience

proptiger_thumb.gifThe online real estate advisor, PropTiger.com has acquired Out of Box Interaction (OoBi), a design innovation firm to enhance online home buying experience.
The acquisition is aimed at significantly enhancing the customer experience at Proptiger.com with OoBi’s expertise in displaying real estate projects in an efficient and immersive way.

“The acquisition of OoBI will help us in adding a new dimension to our customers’ home search process by making digital information more tangible and interactive,’’ says Agarwala, Co-Founder and CEO, PropTiger.com

The Truth: Indian Real Estate Startups Are Innovating More Than Global Counterparts

Unprecedented innovation in last 6 months; we are beating the global biggies on innovation!
Indian online real estate space has seen unprecedented innovation in the last 6 months. Its great to see that we are doing stuff which even US or Chinese online real estate players are not doing.
I have listed some of my observations below:
1. The biggest move by Indian players is clearly to enable buyers to book an home online. Its like ‘e-commerce for homes’.
Housing launched Slice View
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IndiaProperty launched TruView
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99acres launched iHome
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The large global players?
Zillow and Trulia in US and Soufun (Fang), E-house and Anjuke in China are not doing any of this yet and all of them have billion dollar market caps!
2. Commonfloor launched world’s first virtual reality product for real estate- Commonfloor Retina.
3. 3D walkthroughs of new projects introduced by Indiaproperty, Commonfloor
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4. Proptiger started selling discount coupons for new projects during Diwali. These discount coupons enable the buyers to get a larger discount on the sale price of the new project (eg- buy a Rs 20,000 discount coupon and get Rs 2 lacs off on a project). However, I do not see any discount coupons live as of now.
This is something that is already happening in China. E-house sold ~100,000 discount coupons in Q4 2014 alone, worth US$120 mn (implying avg discount coupon~US$1,200= INR 72,000/-). This can be a big potential opportunity in India as well.
5. Every player has redesigned their UX in the last 6–12 months.
6. Also, in general lot of startups are doing new things in this space. Some of the examples are
NestAway– online marketplace for shared accommodations
Zenify– Property management for owners
Nobroker & Grabhouse– Find a house/flatmate without a broker

Flatchat– Helps you find accommodation on chat

But challenges still lay ahead…

Unfortunately, the online real estate market size still remains small. Listing fee/advertising model is still a ~300 cr market. If the market does not grow fast, it will be very difficult for all the players to survive.
We are clearly lagging behind on data analytics when compared to the global players. For example- Zillow does a good job with Z-estimates. This is something that I believe will gain more focus over the next 12 months. It will be interesting to see data analytics being leveraged to provide insights/assistance to customers.
[Guest article by Sandeep Reddy. Follow him on twitter @hsrdce.]