News Corp-backed real estate portal PropTiger.com expects its entire group, including Housing.com and Makaan.com, to break even and start earning profit from 2019-20 on expected revival in the realty market. PropTiger.com, which recently merged Housing.com with itself in a major consolidation in the online realty space, will consider more acquisitions if it complements the company’s existing business operations, its CEO Dhruv Agarwala said. “Our revenue numbers have not been finalised yet. We are closing the books. But it should be around USD 10-12 million last fiscal,” he told PTI in an interview.
Asked when the group would achieve break-even, Agarwala said, “Although right now its not our goal, we expect PropTiger and Makaan.com to break even in the 2018-19 fiscal and Housing.com in 2019-20.” The real estate sector has not been performing well in the last five years but demand is expected to improve from the second half of this fiscal on the back of the new real estate regulatory law and increased transparency in the sector post notes ban and other initiatives, he said.
“Improvement in the real estate sector will make our path to break even and profitability easier and achievable in couple of years,” Agarwala said, adding that the company would be focusing on monetising its offerings across three brands. Stating that the group will continue with all the three brands, Agarwala said Housing.com is a demand aggregation platform while PropTiger is a transaction service brand and Makaan.com is a marketplace for agents.
On integration with Housing.com, Agarwala said, “Initially there were some concerns. But, it has gone well. Culturally we are not that different. In last one year, things that might have been a concern to us, have been fixed. Thanks to Jason Kothari and his team.” PropTiger.com announced merger of Housing.com with itself in January 2017 to create India’s largest full service online-to-offline real estate platform. Housing.com’s then CEO Jason Kothari moved on to pursue other opportunities.
As part of the transaction, REA Group Ltd invested USD 50 million in the joint entity while an affiliate of SoftBank Group Corp put in USD 5 million. The funds will be used to further strengthen the company’s core capabilities and brand. “We are in the right structure. We did announce some layoffs two months back. All that’s been done, we are at the right size now. Most of the functions have been integrated,” he said when asked whether the company has achieved right structure post merger with Housing.com.
PropTiger.com, Housing.com and Makaan.com, which are part of Singapore-based Elara Technologies Pte Ltd, have around 1,750 employees currently. In February, the group sacked around 200 employees as part of a restructuring exercise to ensure optimal utilisation of resources.
PropTiger and Housing.com have raised about USD 250 million so far from investors including News Corp, Australia’s REA Group, SoftBank, SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Nexus Venture Partners.
Earlier this week, Housing.com re-entered the rent business. Housing.com, which was founded in 2012, initially focused on providing independently verified listings of houses to address the issue of finding homes for rent in major cities. However, the company had in November 2015 decided to restructure its business to focus only on buying and selling of apartments. With the relaunch, the portal has over 60,000 verified units listed to be rented with the number expected to exceed 2,00,000 in three months. The re-entry into the rental business will contribute substantially to the overall traffic to the portal which is expected to touch 10 million by the end of FY18.