PropTiger.com and Housing.com announced via a statement on Tuesday that they are merging their businesses. As part of the transaction, online real estate advertising firm REA Group Limited will invest $50 million (approximately Rs. 340 crores) in the joint entity, while an affiliate of SoftBank Group Corp will invest $5 million (approximately Rs. 34 crores).
A report by Mint says the transaction valued Housing.com at about $70-$75 million (roughly Rs. 476-510 crores), quite a fall for a company that had raised over $120 million during its heydays and hit the headlines regularly when controversial co-founder and former CEO Rahul Yadav was still at the company. The report added the valuation of the new PropTiger-Housing.com joint entity now stands at $270-$285 million (roughly Rs. 1,837-1,939 crores).
After the merger, News Corp remains the largest shareholder of PropTiger, and also owns 61.6 percent of REA Group. Representatives of REA and SoftBank will join the board of the new PropTiger-Housing.com joint entity, which will continue to be chaired by a News Corp representative.
Dhruv Agarwala, co-founder and CEO of PropTiger, will serve as CEO of the new entity. Jason Kothari, CEO of Housing.com, has decided to move on to pursue other opportunities in the Indian Internet space. He will continue to be an advisor to the new PropTiger-Housing.com joint entity till February.
The PropTiger-Housing.com 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, the statement said.
PropTiger has completed transactions worth $1.5 billion (approximately Rs. 10,209 crores) since it was founded in 2011, while Housing.com is a popular online platform for buying and selling homes, receiving over four million visits every month.
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."
News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said, "Our investments in PropTiger, REA Group and Move, Inc. are testimony to our faith in the potential of the global digital real estate market, of which we are now the largest player.
Written with PTI inputs