Two of India’s leading online real estate service providers are forming the country’s largest online real estate services company, and a top Australian listings portal will be taking a stake in the new entity.
REA Group will invest US$50 million in the joint entity created by the amalgamation of PropTiger.com and Housing.com.
News Corp is the largest shareholder of PropTiger and also owns 61.6 per cent of REA Group.
REA Group CEO Tracey Fellows said India is an important part of REA Group’s 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,” Ms Fellows said.
News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson welcomed the development.
“Our investments in PropTiger and REA Group are testimony to our faith in the potential of the global digital real estate market, of which we are now the largest player,” Mr Thomson said.
“With 1.2 billion people and a rapidly growing economy and middle class, India’s future as a real estate powerhouse is exceptionally bright and we’re proud to be a part of this expanding sector.”
An affiliate of Softbank Group Corp will also invest US$5 million in the entity.
Representatives of REA and Softbank will join the board of the joint entity, which will continue to be chaired by a News Corp representative.
Co-founder and CEO of PropTiger Dhruv Agarwala will serve as CEO of the joint entity.
CEO of Housing.com Jason Kothari will pursue other opportunities in the Indian internet space. He will serve as an adviser to the joint entity till the end of February 2017.
The joint entity will service consumers, real estate developments, brokers and home owners.
PropTiger is the largest online residential real estate brokerage firm, having completed transactions worth $1.5 billion since its founding in 2011, while Housing.com is India’s most popular online platform for buying and selling homes, receiving more than four million visits every month.
The joint entity will be the only player in India offering the full range of online and offline services in the real estate space. This includes personalised search, virtual viewing, site visits, legal and financial diligence, negotiations, property registration, home loans and post-sales service.
By 2030, India is expected to be the third largest real estate market in the world, with the sector contributing to more than 15 per cent of national GDP.