News Corp-backed realty portal Housing.com’s revenue more than doubled last fiscal year, helping it become one of the top three players in the real estate classified business, a top company official said.
In January last year, Singapore-based Elara Technologies, which owns PropTiger.com and Makaan.com, bought Housing.com — a start-up founded in 2012 by around dozen IIT graduates – in a major consolidation in the Indian online real estate business.
Apart from News Corp and its Australia-based group firm REA, Elara Technologies has SAIF Partners, Softbank and Accel Partners as major shareholders. It has raised $105 million so far from investors.
“In Housing.com, we achieved 110 per cent growth in revenue and 75 per cent growth in traffic during the last fiscal,” said Dhruv Agarwala, who is the CEO of all the three brands – PropTiger, Housing and Makaan.
Even in the first quarter of this fiscal, the company posted a 77 per cent growth in revenue year-on-year, he said but did not share the exact financial details.
“This showcases the market’s faith in all the innovations we created last year post-merger. While last year’s performance has firmly established Housing.com amongst the top three players in the real estate classifieds business, the company is well on its path to increasing its revenue by over 50 per cent this fiscal year,” Agarwala said.
Housing.com earns revenues from advertisements placed by developers, brokers and home owners. It also generates revenues by providing marketing tools to builders like 3D Visualisation and Augmented Reality.
At this growth rate, he exuded confidence, that Housing.com would become market leader within a couple of years.
Housing.com competes with 99acres.com and Magicbricks.com in real estate classified business among few others.
“While Housing.com had an excellent product, great brand and a talented team, the focus on monetisation was not there,” Agarwala said.
Moreover, he said, the “uncertainty around the future of the company for almost a year prior to the merger had affected team morale and caused the business to be in a state of limbo”.
Agarwala was referring to the events that led to sacking of Housing.com co-founder and then CEO Rahul Yadav in July 2015.
The board had sacked Yadav, saying that his behaviour towards investors and media was not “befitting” of a CEO. Later, Jason Kothari was appointed as the new CEO, the position he held till merger.
“With the merger the sense of stability was restored very quickly and we were able to re-energise the team and give fresh vitality to the business,” Agarwala said.
Post-merger, Elara did restructuring exercise to ensure optimal utilisation of resources in the combined entities.
“This turnaround was a result of many innovations across product, business and marketing functions,” he said.
Housing.com also launched a new app for sellers, which enables them to manage their listings and leads, and get instant alerts on the go. It reintroduced renting segment and launched brand campaign for achieving higher traffic and revenue.