Bengaluru/New Delhi: Real estate portal PropTiger.com, backed by Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp., has acquired Makaan.com for an undisclosed sum to create a common platform that will offer property services and solutions to homebuyers, real estate developers, property brokers, banks and private equity investors, the firms said on Wednesday.
PropTiger, a digital real estate marketing and transaction services provider, is owned by Elara Technologies Pte Ltd, and Makaan.com, owned by Makaan.com Pvt. Ltd, is an online property listings firm.
The transaction, which took around three months to close, will see PropTiger.com and Makaan.com continue to function as separate websites for now.
“PropTiger.com and Makaan.com will provide homebuyers 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 and chief executive, PropTiger.com.
With this transaction, the focus is on integrating the two platforms, deriving maximum benefit so that there is complete control on customer experience, Agarwala said.
Following the acquisition, Makaan.com CEO Aditya Verma will now report to Agarwala.
In November, News Corp. had acquired a 25% stake in PropTiger.com for $30 million. The other major investors in Elara Technologies are SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Horizon Ventures.
So far, PropTiger.com helped customers to buy homes in new projects but now it has ventured into the secondary market, where buyers can choose from resale properties too. Earlier this month, PropTiger.com also acquired Bengaluru-based Out of Box Interaction, a digital interaction design company that specializes in displaying real estate projects in an efficient and immersive way.
As homebuyers flock to digital platforms in a significant manner, the online real estate market in India is seeing a lot of investments from companies such as Softbank and Tiger Global.
In November, Mumbai-based Housing.com raised $90 million from Japanese investor Softbank Corp. Tiger Global poured in $30 million into CommonFloor.com in September.
“Makaan’s listing ability combined with PropTiger’s transacting ability is a game-changer in this space. The days of pure listing companies may come to an end, because users don’t want to be left fending for themselves and care about solving their problems," said Anupam Mittal, co-founder, Makaan.com.
Makaan.com Pvt. Ltd’s matchmaking site Shaadi.com and mobile content and commerce company Mauj Mobile will continue to function separately.
“In addition to being able to combine Makaan.com listings and PropTiger.com home buying services, we are delighted we can also now tap Anupam’s proven expertise in profitably engaging digital audiences in India," said Raju Narisetti, senior vice-president, strategy, for News Corp., who also chairs Elara’s Singapore-based board.
The classifieds market in India has seen a significant growth and was valued at ₹ 896 crore (excluding business-to-business classifieds) in December 2014, according to a digital commerce report released in March 2015 by Internet and Mobile Association of India. About 13% of this market comes from real estate and auto ads, while the majority is constituted of matrimony advertisements.
“We can expect more of such opportunistic mergers in the sector. However it is too early to see some sizeable deals," said Abhishek Goyal, co-founder at Tracxn, an analytic firm that tracks start-ups.
Goyal points out that PropTiger does not have a strong consumer presence and they could leverage that with Makaan.com, which has a stronger brand recall.