Housing.com, PropTiger.com merge to form largest online real-estate firm



PropTiger, which claims to have processed $1.1 billion worth of transactions on its platform since its launch in 2011, had earlier acquired Makaan.com in 2015 for an undisclosed amount.

The representatives of REA and SoftBank will join the board of the new joint entity, which will continue to be chaired by a News Corp representative.

REA Group Limited, which operates Australia's residential and commercial property sites Realestate.com.au and Realcommercial.com.au, European sites Casa.it, AtHome.lu and ImmoRegion.fr, Chinese real estate site Myfun.com and a number of property sites in Asia via its ownership of iProperty Group, will be investing about $50 million.

Co-founder and CEO of PropTiger Dhruv Agarwala will serve as CEO of the new entity, while Jason Kothari, CEO of Housing.com, will quit to pursue other opportunities in the Indian Internet space, a joint statement said. "Shareholders of PropTiger.com and Housing.com will be the shareholders in the new entity", Agarwala told PTI.

Housing.com has been on the block for over a year, following controversies surrounding leadership issues and fund crunch. PropTiger is primarily backed by News Corp in India. "The joint entity will have access to REA Group's expertise and know-how from its operations across the globe". "We intend to retain all the employees at Housing and PropTiger, and there will be minimal impact on headcount during organizational integration", he said in a call.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni did the right thing
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Housing.com hoped to disrupt the online real estate market, but its plans were derailed after its maverick founder Rahul Yadav was ousted by the company's board more than a year ago. Housing has established itself as a formidable online brand and we admire its consumer centric product innovation.

It said the joint entity will offer full-stack services to customers, real estate developers, brokers and home owners.

Digital real estate advertising firm REA Group has agreed to buy a 14.7 per cent stake in Indian online real estate marketing group PropTiger for $67.9 million.

In January previous year, online classifieds company Quikr bought CommonFloor.com and merged it with its real estate vertical QuikrHomes.

In September, ET reported that as a first step to a potential merger, Housing had entered into revenue sharing partnership for transaction services with PropTiger. Around this time, there was also disagreement over the focus of the company at the top management level, which was followed by a public spat between the investors and Rahul Yadav that ultimately led to his ouster.