Elara Technologies has secured a credit facility of $35 Mn from Citi Singapore. A Singapore-based digital real estate marketing and transactions services company, Elara Technologies is the owner of Indian online real estate companies Housing.com, PropTiger.com, and Makaan.com.
The company currently claims to be growing at a rate of more than 50% Y-o-Y. It will use the fresh capital to accelerate business growth by investing in brand building, product and technology, sales force, and geographic expansion.
As the company said in a media statement, with the infusion of additional capital, Elara Technologies is well positioned to take the lead in the next cycle of growth in the digital real estate sector in India.
Wong Sin Ping, Global Subsidiaries Group Head of Citi Singapore, said, “India’s real estate sector is growing at a healthy pace on the back of strong overall market demand. This transaction demonstrates our confidence in Elara Technologies’ growth potential and the opportunity that we see in India’s digital real estate market over the next few years.”
Commenting on the development Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, PropTiger.com, and Makaan.com, said, “Our consistent high double-digit growth momentum and mode of financing reflect the strong fundamentals of our company. We expect this funding to catalyse our next phase of growth and build our leadership in the rapidly expanding digital real estate space in India.”
Online Real Estate Market In India
According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian real estate market is pegged to touch $180 Bn by 2020, with the housing sector alone contributing 11% to the country’s GDP. According to another IBEF study, 35% of the population is in the young age bracket (15-35 years), which is further driving the online real estate industry in India.
This growth has further led to consolidations of major companies in the online real estate space, giving good exits to startup founders in an otherwise competitive market.
For instance, in 2016, Quikr India Pvt Ltd acquired rental startup Grabhouse at an estimated value of $10 Mn. Prior to that, in January 2016, Quikr acquired online realty portal CommonFloor in a stock-and-cash deal for $200 Mn.
In January 2017, Proptiger.com and Housing.com merged to gain a dominant position in the Indian online real estate service sector. Following the acquisition of Housing.com in 2017 by Elara Technologies, the company completed a restructuring exercise to ensure optimal utilisation of resources.
Also, the acquisition of Housing brought a group of major global real estate companies on one board. As Inc42 reported earlier, PropTiger’s eventual investor REA Group Ltd announced an investment of $50 Mn in the joint entity (Housing-PropTiger) with an affiliate of SoftBank Group pumping in another $5 Mn.
A 61.6% stake in the REA Group is owned by News Corp, which is also the largest shareholder of PropTiger. REA is a leading digital real estate company in Australia and, in February 2016, acquired control of Southeast Asia’s digital real estate company iProperty, which leads the industry in Malaysia and has a significant presence in Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Elara Technologies’ Indian portfolio companies are currently doing well on the profit and loss front. As posted by Elara Technologies in its media release, Housing.com’s revenue more than doubled in the fiscal year 2018, with 110% growth in revenue and 75% growth in traffic.
It has maintained its strong growth trajectory in the current fiscal with 77% growth in collections in Q1 FY2018-19. Housing.com will introduce a range of new products this year to further strengthen its customer offerings.
Further, PropTiger.com achieved significant organic traffic growth of 93% during the first half of the calendar year 2018. Its revenue grew by 40% during H1 2018, as compared to H1 2017. This robust business growth is expected to help PropTiger.com turn profitable within the current fiscal year.
Also, Makaan.com boasts of a total of 9ooK properties listed across the country, with a wide lead in non-metro cities. The portal has witnessed a 300% growth in revenue in H1 2018 over the same period last year.