Murdoch Invests In Realty Portal – Financial Chronicle – 26-Nov-2014
November 29, 2014 - Uncategorized
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp on Tuesday said the company has acquired a 25 per cent stake in the parent company of PropTiger.com, a leading digital real estate platform in India, for $30 million, as part of its strategy to expand presence in digital media.
News Corp picked up the stake in Singapore-based Elara Technologies Pte Ltd, the parent firm of PropTiger.com.
Noida-based PropTiger.com, which was founded in February 2011, has eight offices in the country with employee strength of around 500. It has facilitated sale of over 10,000 housing units so far worth over Rs 8,000 crore, according to the company’s website.
Experts believe that the e-commerce wave is finally getting into the real estate space as well. Ganesh Vasudevan, chief executive officer at India Property.com said, “In the future we may see many more deals happening in the real estate space, as the industry is in a very nascent stage of evolution and there is lot of opportunity.”
“E-commerce is growing fast in the country and digital real estate is also expected to grow fast,” Vasudevan said.
Expressing similar views, Harish HV, partner at Grant Thornton India said, “Initially we were seeing lot of movement into e-tailing, and now it’s spreading across businesses in every segment. More such deals are expected in the future as the valuations continue to be on the lower side and there is lot of growth opportunity in this segment in the future.”
“India has more than 270 million internet users and the number is growing exponentially. There is no doubt that the development of digital is empowering individuals and transforming industries, and we are extremely enthusiastic about the potential for PropTiger.com as the country fulfils its digital destiny,” said News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson.
PropTiger.com has over 250 developer partners who market their new developments through the online platform. “We have at least 10,000 properties worth over $1 billion having been purchased through PropTiger.com,” Dhruv Agarwala co-founder of PropTiger.com, said.
It is estimated that India will be a $158 billion residential real estate market by 2020. This provides significant opportunity for growth in a market where already an increasing number of home-buyers are relying on the internet to make their purchases, News Corp statement said.
Among the site’s other investors are venture firms Accel Partners, SAIF Partners and Horizen Ventures.
“News Corp’s investment continues the acceleration of its global digital footprint with an emphasis on India, where the company also has a presence through its Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins Publishers businesses,” News Corp said in a statement.
News Corp recently agreed to acquire Move, the operator of realtor.com, for $950 million. News Corp also has a 61.6 per cent stake in REA Group, operator of Australian residential property site realestate.com.au. REA also has a stake in iProperty, a digital real estate advertising business that focuses on markets across South East Asia. PropTiger.com will benefit from News Corp’s digital and product expertise, drawing on its experience with REA and Move, the company statement said.
Raju Narisetti, News Corp senior VP strategy, will join Elara’s Singapore-based board of directors.